Lentils Du Puy cooked in White Wine with Goat Cheese
Lentils Du Puy are small, dark green lentils from the Le Puy-en-Velay in the Auvergne region of France, famous for its volcanic landscape and spring water. Also known as "poor man's caviar" , lentils du Puy are considered the finest lentils available due to their subtle, earthy flavor and their ability to hold their form. These lentils don't require pre-soaking and are ready after 20-30 minutes of gentle simmering. Their tiny, strong form make them the first choice for lentil salads.
After yesterday's pantry inventory, I realized I need to make better use of dry staples: lentils, rice, and beans. Lentils are excellent sources of protein and taste hearty without adding a lot of fat. This recipe, adapted from Lentils in Champagne from Marlena Spieler's excellent The French Vegetarian Bistro Cookbook is wonderfully indulgent in taste. If you think lentils require strong spices to be tasty, this recipe will change your mind.
Lentils Du Puy cooked in white wine:
1/2 cup lentils du Puy
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Put the bay leaf and lentils into a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the shallots until tender. Add the flour, wine, vegetable stock, and drained lentils. Bring to the boil and simmer until liquid is almost gone. Add about a tbsp of chopped parsley, turn off the heat, and season to taste. Allow to cool for a few minutes (or if serving cold, cool completely), add the crumbled goat cheese.
Serve hot or cold with a vinaigrette salad, toasts or baguette, walnuts and oranges.