Picture it: “Sicily, 1922…” I’m kidding. I couldn’t resist.
Let’s start again. Picture it: It’s a cold, dreary day. That icky, gross, rainy, cold, mucky, windy, ick kind of day that we all hate going out in. That was my yesterday. When a truly gross day rolls around, I usually want comfort food for dinner. Preferably, something warm and cozy. This dinner was exactly that. It’s not the prettiest meal to look at, I fully recognize that, but it sure was tasty. Simple, homey, good for you…and both of my kids gobbled it up. (Which, if you’re a parent, you know is a miracle in itself.)
I started by cutting up a few carrots. Have you seen these rainbow carrots?
I love these! They add a little bit of fun to every meal I’ve used them in. The purple carrots are especially fun, because when you cut into them, the center is yellow. The girls say they look tie-dyed.
So, one step into the meal, and already my day was brighter.
I also chopped up an onion and some garlic, and then got them cooking on the stove top in a big pot with a little bit of olive oil.
While the veggies were cooking down a bit, I rinsed off a pound of green lentils.
I love lentils. I love their bite, and their earthy flavor. I also love that they are incredibly good for me. Cozy food with a nutritional kick? Perfect!
Once the onions were translucent, I added my rinsed lentils to the pot, along with a quart of water, some salt, dried thyme, and a bay leaf.
I brought the mixture to a boil, reduced the heat, placed the lid on the top so that it was still open just a bit, and then let the mixture simmer for twenty minutes.
After twenty minutes, the liquid was just about all absorbed and the lentils were almost done. For the last ten minutes of cooking time, I stirred in a pound of smoked sausage and some fresh parsley.
Avery loves smoked sausage, so I knew that adding this bit in would be the key to getting her to eat dinner last night! (I was right.)
I stirred in the sausage, and let the mixture bubble away for another ten minutes. Just long enough to finish cooking the lentils and warm the sausage through. It’s amazing how much smoky flavor just ten minutes of cooking time with the meat brought the entire dish, though.
When we were ready to eat, I heaped the lentils and sausage into bowls for us, and served it with a salad. It’s simple, hearty, not fussy, and not particularly pretty, but it was incredibly tasty. It warmed our chilly bones and made for a delicious family dinner. It was so good, in fact, that the leftovers are calling my name for lunch.
LENTILS WITH SMOKED SAUSAGE AND CARROTS
Adapted from Cooking.com
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 1 lb. lentils (about 2 1/3 cups), rinsed
- 1 quart water
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut diagonally into 3/4 inch slices
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots. Stir the mixture occasionally and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, water, salt, bay leaf and thyme to the vegetables. Stir to combine. Bring up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are just about tender, about 20 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Stir in the smoked sausage and parsley. Cook for 10 minutes more, until the lentils are just tender but not yet falling apart, and the sausage is warmed through.