A vegetable accompaniment that started from one by Nico Ladenis. The original, I realized after I first cooked it with red lentils, uses green lentils. DUH! It also involved double cream and a bothersome demi-glace but I think cream is over-rich and a splash of a good (i.e. home made) chicken stock works well. [For Darwin’s sake don’t use stock cubes.] A good brown chicken stock would be perfectly fine and closer to demi-glace depending upon how rich do you want it.
The fresh herb added could be varied according to the starring item. If the lentils will accompany chicken, then tarragon would work well, for example. The coarse grain mustard is terrific.
|preparation time:||5 mins|
|cooking time:||40 mins|
- 200g red split lentils
- knob of butter
- 1 large banana shallot, chopped
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tbs coarse-grain mustard
- Salt & pepper
Simmer the lentils in just enough unsalted water (900ml is about right) for about 25 minutes or until they are breaking down. Red lentils are great because they purée themselves. Drain any excess liquid through a fine sieve.
Heat the knob of butter in a modestly sized sauté pan and, when melted, gently fry the shallot for 3-5 minutes to soften it. Add the lentils and stir to mix. Now add enough stock to slacken the mixture – a consistency like single cream is good. Stir in the chives (or chosen herb) and whole grain mustard. Let the mixture bubble gently, stirring to stop any catching on the bottom of the pan, to thicken slightly – go for a consistency similar to double cream.
Adjust the seasoning with salt, definitely, and pepper, maybe – since red lentils have a mild peppery taste anyway, you may decide not to use any more.