Sunday, October 28, 2012

Warm French Lentils

 This recipe is the genius of Ina Garten, of course.  I had never tried lentils before and I know I practically crave them.  My husband loves these too, which is a plus for the strange grains category.

Tips:  I just use about 1/2 - 1 tsp ground cloves in place of whole cloves.  A sweet onion is great instead of the leek if you don't have any. And I have never used a turnip in my recipe. I just omit that... purely out of the fact that it is not a staple in my kitchen. 

So, make it as the recipe suggests or tweak it with whatever you have in your cupboards. The key is having good flavor via onions, garlic, etc. and then putting on the delicious vinaigrette at the end. 


  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup French green Le Puy lentils
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves
  • 1 white turnip, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion with the cloves, and the turnip in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils. Place them in a medium bowl with the leek and carrots, and add the butter.
Meanwhile, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow the lentils to cool until just warm, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. The longer the lentils sit, the more salt and pepper you'll want to add.