"Lentilles et Chorizo" is on our neighborhood bistro's menu year-round and it is absolutely amazing. While bistros in France typically serve lentils under a big sausage or hunk of ham (petit salé aux lentilles), I like this easy, lighter version with a bit of pepperoni stirred in for a little extra flavor.
For a vegetarian version, leave out the pork. These French lentils are a tasty meal on their own (don’t forget the crusty bread!), but are also a good side dish to most proteins. Feel free to make the lentils ahead - they are just as delicious reheated the next day on the stovetop.
Servings: 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side
Active time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 60-70 minutes
1 cup (200 g) dry French green lentils
1 tablespoon (14 g) butter
2 medium carrots
1 large yellow onion
3 ½ ounces (100 g) lardons or diced pancetta
3 cups (710 ml) water
Optional: slices of pepperoni or chorizo, crumbled feta
Rinse the lentils in a colander and set aside. Peel and dice the carrots in 1/2-inch pieces. Roughly chop the onion.
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium
heat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook about 2-3 minutes then add the lardons/pancetta. Let cook another 2 minutes, stirring.
Stir the lentils into the saucepan. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt and 3 cups of water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the lentils simmer uncovered for about 1 hour. The lentils will be ready when most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
I like to stir a few slices of pepperoni into the lentils when serving as a main dish. Serve the lentils hot as a side dish to chicken, lamb, fish, etc. or on their own with crusty bread as a tasty meal.
And bon appétit!