Puy Lentils© ejmorris 2005
- 1 c. Puy lentils (French green lentils, lentilles vertes du Puy)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 or 4 slices of really good smokey ham, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 tsp (to taste) chicken or vegetable stock powder or salt
- ¼ c olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 ½ c (approx) water to cover the lentils
- Sort through and wash lentils well. (Be particular vigilant. It is easy to mistake a stone for a lentil!)
- In a large pot, put lentils and enough fresh water to cover the beans well. Remove any floaters.(DO NOT ADD SALT!!!) Bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to allow the lentils to gently boil. Cover, and boil gently for about 20 minutes or until lentils are al dente yet soft and ready to eat. (Definitely not mushy but not crunchy either.)
- Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock powder (or salt). Using a hand held potato masher, mash the lentils until some are slightly broken and thicken the water they've cooked in.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and fry the ham until it begins to turn brown. Add butter and the diced onion and fry everything until the edges of the dice are turning brown. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more.
- Add the ham and onion mixture to the lentils. You can also add a cooked (preferably barbecued for smokey complexity) sausage.
This is even better if you let the lentils sit for a few hours to absorb the flavours. A splash of red wine can be added if desired. Serve with a green vegetable, a small piece of grilled meat and Rustic French Bread or crusty baguette.