Warming Lentil Casserole with Smoked Sausage

lentil-casseroleWhenever we go to France, I stock up on Puy lentils. Lentilles vertes du Puy are small, dark green lentils that hold their shape and don’t fall apart when cooking. Therefore, they are especially good in casseroles. I can’t imagine a winter without them.
Last night, in need of comfort food yet again (sorry ‘beach body’, whatever that may be), I made a filling lentil casserole with bacon and smoked Dutch sausage (rookworst). You can serve it as I did, with a lemony Belgian endive salad (recipe here tomorrow!). A plain, crisp green salad will work fine too.
Here’s the recipe:

Warming Lentil Casserole with Smoked Sausage
Serves 4

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked bacon, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, needles finely chopped
  • 300g puy lentils, rinsed and checked for stones
  • 750ml water
  • 1 smoked Dutch sausage, or other smoked sausage such as kielbasa
  • fleur de sel & freshly cracked pepper
  • Dijon mustard, to serve

Heat the olive in a heavy bottomed casserole and brown the bacon. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain most of the fat, leaving about 1 teaspoon behind. Lower the heat, add the carrots, garlic, onion and rosemary and cook for about 5 minutes.  Increase the heat and add the lentils and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes. Check after 20 minutes to see if you need to add a bit more water. At this time, you can season the lentils with salt and pepper. Heat the Dutch sausage in boiling water for 10 minutes, or according to package directions. When ready to serve, stir the bacon through the lentils. Chop the sausage into pieces and place on top of the lentils. A jar of Dijon mustard is not an option but a must! Delicious with my lemony Belgian endive salad — come back tomorrow for the recipe!

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