Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sausage and Lentil Casserole

I made this last week for dinner.  It was very good.  Lentils are one of those foods that you either like or you can't stand.  I do like lentils but Kevin is not really a lentil lover.  We both thought the flavor of this dish was good.  One important tip to remember is not to cut the cooking time of the lentils short.  If you do the lentils will tend to be chewy.
Sausage and Lentil Casserole

1 cup ( ½ pound) green or brown lentils, rinsed
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium onion, cut in half (1 half stuck with 2 cloves; 1 half chopped)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1 package smoked sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces slab bacon, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
½ cup dry white wine

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking casserole.
2. Place the lentils in a large saucepan with salt, half onion with cloves stuck in it, the caraway seeds, and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 50 to 55 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the lentils in the saucepan until needed.
3. Meanwhile, slice the smoked sausage on an angle and set aside.
4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil with the butter and diced bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is a little crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes.
5. Drain the lentils and add the sautéed onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Layer the lentils in bottom of baking dish.  Top with a layer of sausage.  Add the remaining lentils.   Top with remaining lentils.  Pour in the wine and bake until bubbling and dark, about 35 to 40 minutes.

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