*picture stolen from Google images...the recipe below comes out even prettier - but we ate all of it before I thought of taking a photo!
I picked up the Food&Wine 2007 annual cookbook at the used bookstore the other day and decided to try 5 new meals this week. Tonight's pick was "Lentils with Chicken Sausage". I was pretty sure Robert and I would like it (which we did), but I had no idea it would be such a hit with the kiddos! I don't think I've ever seen Grace open her mouth so wide, and Audrey was picking up her bowl and slurping it down! Oliver seemed to like it too (duh - it's food), but I thought it was funny that he picked the spinach out of each bite:) Here's the recipe - with a few minor adjustments/tips. Oh, and as you can see, I've given it a slightly more colorful and descriptive name...the other one sounded so tasteless and boring!
Balsamic Chicken Sausage with Green Lentils:
1 C dried green lentils
4 C chicken broth (you could even use 3C - ours was pretty "soupy")
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, cut into pieces
2 T olive oil
4 thyme sprigs
1 C baby spinach leaves (stems removed), coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
*4 precooked chicken sausages, thickly sliced
1.5 T balsamic vinegar
*I used Trader Joe's Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage (comes in a pack of 5). You can also use Aidells Chicken&Apple sausage - just make sure the chicken sausage you choose is somewhat sweet. Lentils can be pretty "plain" - and the sweetness really adds to the dish and gives it some extra flavor!
1. In a large soup pot, combine the lentils and chicken broth. Cover and bring to boil.
2. With either a food processor or onion chopper, pulse carrot, celery, onion, and garlic until all are very finely chopped. In a large skillet, heat 1T olive oil. Add the finely chopped vegetables and thyme sprigs and cook over medium-high heat until veggies are soft (about 3 minutes) stirring frequently so they don't burn. Add cooked veggies to lentils/broth. Cover and cook over medium heat until lentils are tender (about 20 min). Stir the baby spinach into the lentils; season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1T olive oil in the skillet. Add the sliced chicken sausages and cook over medium heat, turning sausages occasionally until browned on all sides (about 8 minutes). Add the balsamic vinegar to skillet and toss and cook for 1 minute more.
4. Spoon lentils into bowls discarding thyme sprigs as you find them. Top with chicken sausages and serve immediately!
I'll be making this one again soon...let me know how you like it!