I am just back from a long weekend in Paris and it was fantastic. My friend and I are eating our way round Europe and we are perfect travel buddies, as we both like nothing more than wandering round markets and sampling all of the local food. Foodie highlights: whole artichoke dipped in flavoured oil, rillettes, buckwheat galette with jambon, fromage et oeuf (ham, cheese and egg), confit de canard, celeriac remoulade, and green lentils cooked to perfection.
I missed France as soon as I left so was straight to the kitchen to cook up some lentils, French style.
Lentils are a fantastic source of fibre, with green and brown lentils being the richest source compared to red. The fibre that they contain is both insoluble and soluble, meaning that is it good for the digestive system and can protect us from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Lentils are also rich in B vitamins, iron and zinc.
I always make lentils in bulk as they are great for lunch and as a side to other dishes.
To make French-style lentils, you will need:
about 200g puy lentils, or as much as you want
500ml hot stock, I used vegetable
2 bay leaves
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Rinse the lentils under cold water and pop into a pan. Pour over the hot stock, add the carrots, onions and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding water if the lentils soak it all up. Et voila! It’s that easy for a healthy accompaniment to meat or to bulk up a salad. You can add some black pepper at the end but never add salt to the lentils at the start – it makes them toughen up.