On New Year’s Day, I wanted to fill our table with as many lucky foods as possible — including the Banana Cornbread and this rich, delicious lentil dish. We could definitely use a little luck as we head into 2013 — it has to be a better year. And so far, it’s been mostly good. The kids returned to school this week. They came home on Thursday and Friday, happy to be back in class and excited to return to our routines — however changed they are. Therapy dogs made school time special, and Paige loved being able to visit the school library again. For me, work has been off to an amazing start this year — which makes me so happy and excited for things to come. So far, 2013 is pretty good — thank goodness. But life is never all good (or all bad), is it? So, there is one thing that’s not all smiles and excitement right now. One of our beagles, Scrappy, isn’t well — he’s recovering from a neck injury and had a set back last night. But I am hoping our new course of treatment will help him heal. He just has to — he’s an important part of our little family. As for these lucky Sauteed Leeks with Bacon and Lentils? This is one recipe you want to bookmark and make. Trust me. The sweet sauteed leeks, salty bacon and meaty lentils combine to make it a lovely rich and delicious dish that’s perfect for ringing in a lucky New Year (we had it on New Year’s this year!) or anytime you want to warm up on a cold night. This recipe originally appeared on Sarah’s Cucina Bella in 2009. At the time, I talked about how while it’s not the prettiest dish, it is amazingly delicious. It’s a lovely side dish — but it can also be the star of a meal when served over rice with a big salad. For bigger appetites though, you may want to double the recipe. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 bunch leeks, white and light greens chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon to crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the leeks to the pan and cook in the bacon fat, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir the chicken broth, lentils and water into the leeks. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover -- if there is any liquid left in the pan, allow it to evaporate before removing from heat.
- Remove from heat and season well with salt and pepper (to taste). Then crumble the bacon over the lentils. Serve.
This is also delicious served over rice, however for big appetites, you may want to double the recipe or serve with a big, delicious salad.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.