French Green Lentils with Chorizo
Smoky-sweet chorizo combined with the deliciously earthy flavours of lentils makes this combination the perfect recipe, so move over chickpeas, lentils are back! I must say, I prefer lentils above chickpeas and not just brown lentils, I love all coloured lentils. There are black, brown, red, yellow and these French style green ones that are my personal favourite. I grew up eating brown lentils at least once a fortnight.
In Greek we call them FAKES (pronounced fah-kes) and yes, we used to laugh at stretching out the “FAH-K” sound in Fakes so it would sound like the rude word (you can imagine, my mum did not approve LOL!). Mum would make them because she was told by her mother that they give you strength and I guess it’s true because they are high in protein, magnesium and fibre. Every time mum would cook them, we considered them “the boring” meal and never really appreciated them. “Are we having fah-kes tonight mum?” we’d say and laugh.
I guess being a mum now, it’s payback time. My son as many of you know is a carnivore. I’m not making fun of him, I’m being completely serious. If he had a choice it would be steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the occasional veggie and piece of bread. He is the reason I am constantly experimenting with flavours. My goal was to get him to eat and enjoy eating lentils without seeing them as “the boring” meal, and the only way to do it was by adding some form of meat. This is how I created this recipe. Adding chorizo with its smoky flavour just took my lentil recipe to the next level (keep in mind, for a meat free Monday, you can leave out the chorizo and add some sautéed kale instead). Did he eat it? Check out my home video below!
Yep, goal finally achieved! Now onto the recipe. A very simple and easy meal that is ready in no time at all (especially if you choose to use canned organic lentils that are ready cooked). If you will be using dried lentils, soak them overnight and then boil them, along with a few bay leaves for flavour, for 15 minutes. Pre-soaking them cuts the cooking time in half. Next add to the pan the chorizo to crisp which only takes a couple of minutes per side. Now you want to remove the chorizo from the pan to keep it crisp while you cook the vegetables. Add the vegetables to soften and when ready, add the cooked lentils, seasoning, tomato paste and finally add again the chorizo. It’s as simple as that and ready in 10 minutes (not including the time it takes to cook the lentils). So who is ready to start cooking? Get those lentils out and lets make ‘Fah-kes’ fun again! Enjoy!
1 cup cooked lentils (French green of brown lentils)
Or 1 can organic lentils, rinsed
3 bay leaves
250g or 2 chorizo sausages, sliced
2 brown onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced on the diagonal
1 large carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1 yellow capsicum, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tbs tomato paste
½ cup hot vegetable stock or boiling water
2-3 twigs of thyme leaves
1. To cook lentils, soak them overnight, then bring them to boil in 3-4 cups of water along with 3 bay leaves. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and then drain and rinse them under cold water. Set aside.
2. Prepare all ingredients, include diluting the tomato paste in the hot water.
3. Add the EVOO to a frying pan and cook the chorizo for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Add onion, celery, carrot and capsicum to pan and fry for a few minutes or until begins to soften. Add more oil if needed. Add the garlic and thyme towards the end.
5. Add the cooked lentils and tomato paste to the pan and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. Finally add the chorizo to pan. Combine and serve immediately with crusty bread or some steamed rice. Enjoy x