A La Maison Chicago - Lentils

Country-style Lentils – A Lunchbox Idea

I’m on a crazy train! I have started a new job last week, moved in our new apartment this weekend and as if it wasn’t enough, I had the great idea the remodel our future kitchen on my own. To be honest, I have underestimated the time it would take – already 50 hours last week – but I’m very excited to see the results coming along!

In those circumstances it is important to stay strong, healthy, to eat fruits, vegetables and vitamins. The same old song! Easy to say when the most part of your cookware and dishes are already in boxes. So I thought of a very quick, easy and healthy recipe that can be made with very few ingredients: country-style lentils (“lentilles à la paysanne” in French).

It is a basic recipe that can be easily adjusted with what you find in your fridge and pantry. You can eat country-style lentils warm from the saucepan or cold with a homemade vinaigrette. This time, I have cooked the lentils with carrots, celery, ognon and bacon; sometimes, I replace bacon with beet and fresh goat cheese. It’s up to you! Here are the guidelines.

Ingredients for 2 servings
  • 2/3 cup (130g) lentils
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery branch
  • 1/4 white ognon
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • A clove
  • Salt and pepper

Optional vinaigrette for the cold version:

  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard – Grey Poupon is good, Maille is much better!
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Rince the lentils in a strainer. Pour them in a saucepan with twice their volume of water.
  2. Peel and chop the carrot, ognon and celery. Add them to the saucepan. Then, add the stock, bay leaf, thyme, clove and salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil. Then, lower the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In the meantime, chop your bacon in 1” pieces. Fried it in a skillet to remove excessive fat. Remove from the heat when the bacon pieces are crispy. Lift out with a skimmer and let them sit in a plate covered with towel paper.
  4. Now, the homemade vinaigrette. I have a special tips to make it perfectly homogeneous in a few seconds! In a tiny tupperware, put all the ingredients. Close the lid and shake it! It’s ready!
  5. Transfer the lentils to a colander and drain. Then, place them in a serving bowl and add the bacon. To serve in salad, let them cool, add the vinaigrette and place in your fridge for at least an hour.

Your lunch box is ready!

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