This easy recipe is perfect for warming you up on a cold Autumnal day. They’re great with sausages and meats, or scattered over a salad or into soup to make it more substantial. I’ve even been known to add them to a bolognaise to increase the veg quota without the children being any the wiser. They also freeze really well – the lentils, not the children.
425g lentils (brown, green or Puy)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic granules
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
A few thyme sprigs (I keep mine in the freezer then add them straight from frozen)
3 bay leaves (as above – keep them in the freezer)
800ml vegetable stock, hot
6 cavolo nero leaves, stalks removed, finely shredded
- Rinse the lentils under cold running water in a sieve then drain well.
- Warm the oil in a wide ovenproof cast iron pan then add the garlic or garlic granules, and the onion, celery and carrot. Cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until softened.
- Add the lentils and mix well to coat in the oil. Add the herbs, followed by the stock. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the lentils are as tender as you like them, and have absorbed almost all the liquid. Alternatively, you can do this in a preheated oven at 170C, gas mark 3.
- Mix the cavolo nero into the lentils and leave to wilt. Season and serve, or set aside to cool.
Tip: these lentils will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be eaten cold or hot – just make sure you reheat them really thoroughly before eating. The same applies if you are freezing them – add a little extra stock or water too during reheating if they look a little dry.