Thursday, May 21, 2009

cooking bender, part 2

I've got a real thing for lentils. I've also got a real thing for bacon. Last week on his bl*g Bitten, Mark Bittman mentioned a lentil dish with bacon he'd eaten in France, and then vaguely described it. Lucky for me, my stepmom was around to help me translate Mark Bittman's non-recipe into something we could actually eat. Here is a loose interpretation of what we made.

Smoky French Lentils
~5 slices of bacon
olive oil
a carrot
a few scallions, chopped
a tomato or two, chopped
~2 cups of French lentils
Dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar
Glass of wine for drinking

1. Mince the bacon and saute it in a little olive oil. Grate in the carrot (or not), add the chopped scallions (or garlic or onion or whatever), and continue to saute while you sip your wine and enjoy the amazing smell in your kitchen. Add the tomatoes. When the moment feels right, add the lentils. Add just enough water to cover the lentils and then cook until they are tender, adding more boiling water if necessary. How long this takes doesn't really matter, as you'll be pouring yourself a second glass of wine and feeling very much like Julia Child as you take the top off the pot and taste the lentils, glass of wine in one hand, wooden spoon in the other. When the lentils are cooked to your liking (Bittman recommends that they be very thoroughly cooked; this is tasty but sort of ugly, so if you're really looking to impress, cook them al dente), add a couple of tablespoons of the mustard (or more or less to taste) and a splash or two of red wine vinegar (or more or less to taste). We served ours on a bed of micro spinach, which was delicious and helped pretty it up.

But this morning I've been eating the leftovers straight from the fridge. Still delicious, not so pretty, too early in the day for wine.

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