In the south of France, we eat lentils at the beginning of the year to bring good luck. They may or may not work for luck, but what is sure is that they are quite delicious, especially when paired with a poached or fried egg or two.
I thought that after the holidays, you may enjoy this simple and wholesome recipe, invented by my husband, a great cook! As you serve the dish be sure to wish you and yours good luck for the year ahead.
To prepare the lentils you will need:
1 onion and one shallot peeled and finely chopped
2 large spoonfuls of tomato concentrate
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 ¼ cups French lentils
1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
3 bay leaves, 1 sprig rosemary
In a large saucepan pour a good spoonful of olive oil, and add the chopped garlic, onion and shallot to soften for about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cook very gently then start adding the water in the same way you would for cooking a risotto. Add a little water, wait until the lentils have absorbed the water until adding more.
Add tomato concentrate, salt and herbs. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Add more water if the lentils are becoming too thick or dry. Cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed.
If you want a little more flavour to the lentils you can add a smoked sausage such as a French Morteau, to the pan at the same time as the tomato.
To add the egg, either lightly fry or poach the egg and serve with the lentils. I love to use quails’ eggs for this recipe but regular chicken eggs work well too. If you have added a sausage to the recipe, cut it into slices before serving with the lentils.
Happy New Year to you my friends, thank you for reading me. May the year ahead will be full of love, laughter and shared creativity.