Lentils are my guilty pleasure. Granted, its a pretty lame guilty pleasure to have. You’d think I’d choose something with less nutritional value, and a lot more sugar or oil… I’m working on it but until that replacement is chosen we’ll have to stick with lentils, and I’ll just have to make do with being such a bore.
It all started in St Tropez about 10 years ago. My mother always raised us eating food on the healthier side – I’m not talking hardcore healthy but well balanced meals were very important for all five of her kids. Junk food was not allowed in the house and soda was strictly for special occasions. One summer my parents rented a house in the south of France… I always loved to help my mom in the kitchen and ride along for trips to the grocery, no matter what country we were in. The idea of this summer house was for the whole family to be together, a bonding experience if you will. My parents had sent us to summer camp one year to encourage us to get outdoors and experience more than the television in our play room; it just so happened that we fell in love and from then on never wanted to do anything else each year.
This year was different. Our days were spent splashing in the pool or hanging out on the local beaches, giggling at all the topless French women that walked by, but every day we would come together at the house to eat. The menu from home started to change slightly – tons of fresh salads were added and rice was replaced with lentils. I would stand next to my mom while she instructed me on what to do. “Boil the lentils.” “Sautee the garlic, and onion.” “Add in the chopped herbs.” and just like that, my love affair started. I realized on that trip that not only were they so delicious, but there were so many ways to work with them. Over the years I have come to develop my own lentil based recipes, and my latest might just be my favorite. Not sharing it with you would just be cruel. It’s great as a meal for one, and a perfect side.
You will need
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stems
- 2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350.F
- On a lined baking sheet spread out the cauliflower florets, add half of the oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
- Place in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes until crispy, turning florets half way through cooking time.
- Whilst cauliflower is cooking, heat a large skillet with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, add in the onion and sautee on medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and mix in.
- When the garlic is fragrant, add in the rosemary, and about 3 minutes later add in the lentils.
- Stir the onions, garlic and rosemary into the lentils then add in the vinegar. Stir it all together again.
- In another skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil, add in the last onion and cook on medium high heat until crispy, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and arrange on a plate. Place the cauliflower on top on the lentils. And top with crispy onions.