Saturday, March 16, 2013

The last winter recipe...

As these long and dark winter days quickly slip by making way for spring that's just around the corner...literally, I've decided to post one final winter recipe that's perfect for a cozy night in.

Lentils always conjure up the idea of flavorful, heartier meals and they are so darn versatile. I love them...almost as much as quinoa...not that they are in competition, however. They actually go quite well together in colder salads, but that's another recipe. For this dish I decided to utilize everything I had in my fridge that would compliment lentils and add some good flavors. I found some fresh, organic zucchini, some red peppers, a shallot and ohhhh  yum, some delicious sausages that added just the right amount of smokey flavor and some robustness to the dish. This is how I cook most days...always keeping fresh essentials stocked in the 'crisper' but usually making dishes up on the fly, seasoning as I go along and experimenting with flavors. Of course, this adds to the risk factor of cooking something that could turn out to be disastrous or mis-measured, etc. but I kind of enjoy taking my chances. However, with that statement made...I have some new news!

Beginning next week my blog is going to become the "testing ground" and post for a recipe a week...meaning, I'm going to do my best to choose a new recipe every Thursday or Friday evening from the plethora of cookbooks I have in my library (that look so pretty, yet are rarely utilized!), and feature the results here...along with photos and discussion around the cookbooks themselves! Fun and a big undertaking, but as I was trekking my way around the reservoir this afternoon the idea hit me...and it's sticking. I'm excited!

Back to the lentil and sausage with sautéed veggies...I ended up cooking an insane amount of lentils which lasted me for several days, but you can certainly cut down or add to this recipe very easily.

- 2 cups freshly cooked French lentils, 1 cup cooking liquid reserved

- 2 organic spiced sausage (of your choice - pre-cooked) 

- 1/2 cup organic gluten-free vegetarian broth 

- 2 organice medium zucchini 

- 1 cup red and yellow peppers (marinated are best)

- 1 medium shallot, minced

- 2 Tbsp. feta cheese

- 2 Tbsp. olive oil 

- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

- 1 tsp. organic garlic salt

- sea salt and pepper to taste

Keep lentils warming in a separate pot (add the broth in with the lentils) while you sauté the shallots in olive oil until tender. Then add in thinly sliced zucchini and peppers. Sauté all ingredients until al dente, then add in the sliced sausages adding with them the red pepper, garlic salt along with salt and pepper (to taste). Cook all for 6-8 minutes on medium flame to meld flavors.

Serve cooked lentils on bottom of the plate and then gently add the sausage and vegetable mix over the lentils, as desired. Allow to cool for a minute then add the feta cheese. Given the heartiness of this dish, I chose to forgo any starches and instead, paired with a lovely glass of merlot. A sliced pear was the perfect dessert.


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