The humble lentil

I love to cook. Really, I do. But sometimes when I get home from work I just can’t stand the thought of it. Unfortunately, that leaves me with only two choices: Call Luigi’s for a pie (which we did Monday night) or suck it up and cook something anyway (which I did last night). Sucking it up can be as easy as eggs and toast or I can actually produce something from the pantry, albeit something simple.

Enter the lentil. It’s hard to go wrong with lentils. They’re great for you, cook quickly, and pair well with lots of flavors, as they live somewere between tofu and wild rice on the “blank slate” continuum. The Young Ones connotations aside, they make for a perfectly fine meal.

I opted for a really easy preparation last night. While the lentils (green ones, this time) were simmering in about two inches of water, I cooked a few strips of bacon using the easiest method ever: Place bacon slices on a rimmed baking sheet and put into a cold oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees, and the bacon is ready! (Seriously. No mess, no fuss, no hot grease splatters on your skin.) With the lentils and bacon cooking away, I made another basic vinaigrette — dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, minced shallot, chopped thyme, and salt & pepper — and tossed it with the drained, hot lentils, then mounded them over a little spinach sauteed with olive oil and garlic. Topped with crumbled bacon and blue cheese, it paired nicely with our “honeymoon rosé,” the Roshambo Imoan.

Update: I just had the leftovers for lunch and highly recommend making this a day ahead. The lentils were fine last night, but much tastier after mingling with the vinaigrette, bacon, and cheese overnight.

3 Replies to “The humble lentil”

  1. Wow, you know, I always seem to do lentils as soup or with salmon. This looks fantastic. Of course, I can’t think of many things that aren’t improved by the addition of a bit of bacon.

  2. Amen, Jennifer. Lucky girl that I am, my friends are also bacon-obsessed. One of them grills thickly sliced bacon on his Weber kettle, thus combining two of my favorite scents ever. The other makes bacon ice cream, which I’ve not yet tried, but believe will be spectacular.

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