About a week ago, I saw a recipe on one of my blogger friends' blogs. I grew up eating lentils on almost a weekly basis. Most of the time, they were in a soup. My mother loved lentils. But she added bratwurst meatballs to the soup, lots of onions and it was baptized as German soup.
Bonnie, at From a Writer's Kitchen posted a recipe for Crispy Salmon with Spiced Lentils. I had to try the lentils. Luckily, I learned a lesson some years ago. When more than one spice is added to anything, place the measured spice in a dish or plate before adding to the pot. Good thing I did. I grabbed the cayenne and measured 3/4 teaspoon. When I picked up the paprika, I saw that I had made an error. It should have been 3/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 tsp cayenne. So, I just fluffed the large amount of cayenne into the sink and continued on! Ah..hoo.ah!!
Inspired by Williams Sonoma and From a Writer's Kitchen
1 1/2 cups French lentils
8 whole cloves
1 small onion
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (I used a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained)
1/12 cups clam juice (I used chicken stock)
1 1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground tumeric and sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper
Pick over lentils, rinse and place in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by two inches. Stick cloves into the yellow onion and add along with the bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer, uncovered until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and discard the onion and bay leaves. Set aside.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm one tbsp. of oil. Add the red onion and sautè until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, clam juice or chicken stock and all the spices. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. NOTE: Because of using canned tomatoes, cook this down a bit more, reduced by about one third. Add the parsley and lentils. Cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the tomato juice is reduced and absorbed. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Keep warm. You WILL enjoy this!!