Lovely lentils

One of the characeristics of the Mediterranean diet is the high consumption of legumes — like beans, peas and lentils. Italians have a particular affinity for lentils as they believe that eating them on New Year’s eve will bring 12 months of prosperity. I’ve tried it …and I have yet to win the lottery.

What I would put my money on are their health benefits (particularly for vegetarians): high in protein, rich in amino acids, a good source of iron, and full of fiber. Oh, and they’re delicious.

I’ve made the traditional New Year’s lentil dish before with cotechino, a type of boiled sausage that I didn’t particularly like. Today I tried making them with typical sausages from the Umbrian town of Norcia and was practically licking the plate!

Ingredients:

Lentils (rinsed)

2 carrots, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

A leaf of sage

Olive oil

A cup of chicken stock …or a small bouillon cube

Sausages

Directions:

Take your carrots, celery, onion (all chopped) and sage leaf, and throw them in a pot with a dollop of olive oil. Sauté for a minute, then add your lentils and enough water to cover them. Throw in the chicken stock or bouillon cube too. Simmer for about 1 hour and 40 minutes (or just keep tasting to see if they’re done after an hour).

As for the sausage, I used salsiccia di Norcia: remove the skin and break up into small pieces. Toss the pieces in a fry pan with a drop of olive oil for a couple minutes, then add to the lentils when everything is done.

Enjoy!

Care to share your recipe for lentils? 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2 Responses to Lovely lentils

  1. jan says:

    Two questions: Are the lentils dried? and what quantity did you use?

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