Fall is here, there is absolutely no way around it. The mornings have been downright cold and even though most days temperatures still inch towards 70 degrees the underlying chill in the air has you feeling like it’s much cooler. I’ve retired my flip-flops and broke out my favorite lightweight jacket, My evening ritual of sipping cinnamon tea has begun, the flannel sheets are back on the bed and my husband and I are bracing ourselves for the inevitable purchase of heating oil, But most of all like clockwork my body also begins to crave cold weather comfort food, soups, braises, breads, baked apples and hot toddies.
This week I was hit with a craving for lentils, a super food in its own right and one that is highly underrated. I don’t remember where my love of lentils began but I think it started with a lentil salad from Dean & DeLuca when I lived in New York.
This recipe represents simple and satisfying cooking at its best. Lentils are a cinch to make but can turn you off if not blended with the right flavors. In this recipe I used French lentils instead of your standard brown ones. They don’t take as long to cook and really hold their shape well without getting mushy. I hadn’t made lentils in a really, really long time but this pot was so spot on that I can’t help but put them in my regular cooking rotation.
Sausage & Lentils
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb sweet sausage links
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 1 1/2 cups french lentils
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- Warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add in the sausages and brown for about 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Remove sausages and set aside.
- Add carrots, onions and ras el hanout to the saucepan stir to combine and cook until onions begin to soften.
- Stir in the lentils, add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for five minutes. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cook until lentils are soft but not mushy.
- Place sausages back into the pan with the lentils and continue cooking just until the sausage are warmed through.
*In the photo – I served my lentils with a dollop of greek yogurt and few late season grape tomatoes.