I have quite a bit of kale growing at the moment, most of it Cavolo Nero (or Tuscan Kale), and I have been looking for good ways of using it. At the same time I have been making a concerted effort to include more legumes in my diet. It seemed only natural to combine the two. I added some celeraic as, although I don’t grow it (yet), it is in season here. The bacon is to keep my meat loving partner happy. There is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t cook this dish without any/all of the these three ingredients but I do think they work really well together.
Lentil, Bacon, Celeraic & Kale Braise
- 2 medium onions – finely diced
- 1 large carrot – finely diced
- 200g celeraic – finely diced
- 2 sticks celery – finely diced
- 2 rashers middle bacon – chopped into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic – crushed
- a large handfull of finely chopped parsley
- 100g Kale – shredded
- 1.5 cups puy lentils
- 2 cups stock (probably more)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tspn red wine vinegar
- 2 tblspn olive oil
- extra virgin olive oil to finish
- salt & pepper
Heat the oil in a large fry pan that you have a lid for. Add the bacon and fry for a minute or two. Once it starts releasing its fat then add the onions, celeraic, carrots and celery. Fry on a low heat until soft. Add the garlic and continue frying for a couple of minutes until cooked. Add the lentils, stir to coat with a bit of oil, then add the stock and bay leaf. If you like your kale well cooked add it now otherwise add it during the lentil cooking process. Simmer with the lid on until the lentils are cooked (you may need to add more stock or water if it becomes dry).* Add the parsley then pour on the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (I find it needs a reasonable glug). Serve with a bit more parsley on top. I like it both as a main with buttery polenta or as a side dish.
* I think the lentils are best when they retain a bit of bite. I like the kale added about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.