French herbs, sun dried tomatoes, and lots of red wine come together in this highly flavorful side dish. If you are used to using the brown or green lentils most commonly found in stores, you may be quite surprised by the french lentils called for in this recipe. They are smaller in size than regular lentils and are a steely, greenish-gray color. And, unlike regular lentils, these little legumes are not prone to overcooking. They hold their shape nicely making this a very pretty side dish. French lentils should be available in natural or gourmet food stores. I like to serve these rich, meaty lentils with similarly robust foods such as grilled tuna and mashed potatoes for a truly homey meal. As an added bonus, these lentils are even better the second day so be sure to plan on having leftovers.
French Lentils in Red Wine
Grilled Tuna Steaks
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Asparagus Fries


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon tomato paste
small handful of sun dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water until pliable and then chopped
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
1 cup french lentils, picked over and rinsed
salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
red wine vinegar
1 or 2 tablespoons additional butter

Cooking Instructions

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and marjoram and cook until the onion is wilted and slightly translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, red wine, and water and bring to a boil. Add the drained lentils and return to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Season as needed with salt and pepper. During the final moments of cooking, add the parsley, a good splash of red wine vinegar, and the additional butter. Stir to incorporate the ingredients and melt the butter and serve warm.

Makes 6 to 8 servings



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elliemay's blog

Although these lentils typically cook in about 40 minutes, depending on their age and other factors, they can sometimes take longer. Fortunately, they are difficult to overcook so, if you are using a new batch of lentils and are unsure about how long they will take to cook, add an extra half hour to the cooking time just to be on the safe side. Add more water to the lentils as they cook if they begin to dry out.

Always pick through your lentils before adding them to any dish. Lentils, along with other dry legumes, tend to contain rocks or other foreign objects.

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