French Lentil Ragu

French Lentil Ragu

I was torn whether to name this a 'warm lentil salad' or a 'lentil ragu'. Either or - it will depend on how long you cook your lentils for... A little less (al dente) for salad, or a little more (softer) for ragu. The French love this dish so much it comes in a can! Fortunately for those of us not in France, it's easy to make...

Ingredients:
1 cup Black Beluga lentils
2 tbsps Chefs Choice extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock (chicken stock work well too)
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
10-12 green beans, tipped & tailed, cut into 3cm lengths
3 springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped off (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
Half fill a medium saucepan with water and place on high heat. When boiling, add the lentils and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pan, and add vegetable stock. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, or until soft but firm (al dente). There should still be a little liquid in the pan.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan then add the onion and cook while stirring for 4-5 minutes until the onion softens. Add the carrot and celery, and continue to cook while stirring for another 3-4 minutes. The green beans go in, and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the lentils and stock, and the thyme leaves, and stir together. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with thick yogurt (pictured, optional), as a side with just about any meat dish: sausages, roasted chicken or duck, crispy skinned fish, and so on...

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side

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