French Sausage and Lentils
Trader Joe’s and other markets sell pre-cooked and ever-so-slightly seasoned lentils. Lentils don’t actually take very long to cook, but having them so conveniently prepared and vacuum-packed makes it that much easier to use these healthy little legumes in more recipes. Longtime Scramble recipe tester Kathryn Howell Dalton suggested this delicious recipe that reminds her of something she might eat in a French bistro.
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion halved top to bottom and thinly sliced
- 12 oz. spicy chicken or vegetarian sausage (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) chopped, or use 2 fried eggs
- 4 cups soft lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups pre-cooked brown lentils, or use 1 cup dried lentils to make homemade - see directions below
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or to taste
- 4 tsp. crumbled blue or feta cheese
- Cook the lentils first, if necessary (see directions below).
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add the oil, and when it is hot, add the onions. Sauté them, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, 6 – 8 minutes.
- Add the sausage to the pan and continue to cook until it is browned, 5 – 7 minutes (or remove the onions from the pan and fry two eggs in it). Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Meanwhile, spread the lettuce in a medium to large serving bowl. Warm the cooked lentils in the microwave for about 1 minute, if necessary.
- Spread the lentils on top of the lettuce. Layer the sausage (or fried eggs) and onions on top of the lentils, and sprinkle the vinegar and cheese on top (or serve the cheese at the table if it is too strong for your kids). Serve it immediately.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Cook the lentils, if necessary, and put them along with the oil, onions, and sausage in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. At serving time, spread the lettuce in a serving bowl, layer with the sausage/lentil/onion mixture, then sprinkle with vinegar and cheese as directed. (If you are using the fried eggs, cook them separately in a skillet and layer them on top of the salad.) (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
How to Cook Lentils
- Combine 2 cups water and 1 cup dried brown lentils, bring to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and then cook uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes (check after 15 minutes, if pre-soaked), or until they are tender to the bite. Drain any remaining liquid and season with salt, to taste.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Halve and slice the onion, chop and refrigerate the sausage, tear the lettuce and refrigerate, cook the lentils if necessary, crumble the cheese if necessary and refrigerate. Scramble Flavor Booster: Season it with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add a little fresh or dried thyme to the sausage and onions when they are almost done cooking. Tip: Dried lentils are convenient as they cook faster than other dried legumes. Before cooking the lentils, make sure you rinse them well and pick over them to remove any small rocks or debris. (Soak the lentils overnight, if possible, to cut the cooking time by about half.) Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 317, Total Fat: 12g, 19%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 16.5%; Cholesterol: 60mg, 20%; Sodium: 633mg, 26.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 26g, 8.5%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 36%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 27g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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