Description: Mustardy, vinegar-y, warm lentils and smoked chicken sausage with healthy lentils - perfect for a cold day!

Time: About 30 min.

Preparation: Chop the fennel, carrots, and onion into 1/4 inch dice (you want them to to be not too much bigger than the lentils).

Finely chop the garlic.

Slice the sausage (usually pre-cooked) into 1/4 in. slices.

Rough chop the parsley. (Optional but it does add something!)

Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag lentils, picked over
  • 1 pkg. smoked chicken sausage (e.g., chicken and apple or dried tomato)
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or red vermouth)
  • olive oil
  • vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • 1 bay leaf
  • thyme
  • parsley
Steps:
  • Heat a large saute pan over med-hi heat.
  • Cook lentils according to package directions, with bay leaf and 1/4 tsp. thyme, until firm but tender (if they get mushy, it's not the end of the world, but remember to check sooner next time!).
  • Put about 1 tbsp. olive oil in the pan, and brown the sausage. Set aside.
  • In the same pan (not rinsed out!), add a bit more oil, and cook the onion, fennel, and carrots for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the other veggies have lost some, but not all, of their crunch. Season with S&P and dump into bowl with sausage.
  • Keeping pan over heat, deglaze with 1/4 cup red wine, scraping up browned bits. Let wine/brown bits mixture cook down for 2-3 minutes, then pour into bowl with the rest of the stuff.
  • Make vinaigrette - put 2-3 tsp mustard in mixing cup, add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, and mix. Then slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil (more or less), mixing vigorously as you pour to create an emulsion.
  • Pour vinaigrette over rest of stuff. Mix in along with parsley. Serve warm, garnished with parsley. Makes good re-heated leftovers, too.
  • Delicious and nutritious!!!
  • (But be warned - if you don't eat a lot of legume, this can cause . . . er . . . gas. LOL.)