Lentil, Sausage and Mushroom Gratin

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes

Eating lentils is a New Years custom in many countries. They are especially cherished in France and Italy where they are a sure presence on the year-end table. Lentils are often served with Zampone, a stuffed pig’s trotter, and wild mushrooms.

I use Puy lentils, also known as green lentils, brown mushrooms and a good quality savory sausage. Puy lentils are smaller than common lentils, retain their shape and belong to the non-burp category. Bitter greens, like chicory, escarole salad are just the right partners.

Ingredients:

US MeasuresMetric
  • 1/2 lb Puy lentils (aka green lentils), rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb cooked smoked sausage, like kielbasa, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium-size garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 lb brown mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 225 g Puy lentils (aka green lentils), rinsed and drained
  • 450 g cooked smoked sausage, like kielbasa, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 225 g onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium-size garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 340 g brown mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 10 g flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
  • 25 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Preparation:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook it for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned. Transfer sausage to a plate lined with paper towels.

Add onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf to the same saucepan and cook it for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add lentils and sausage to the onion mix. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a quick boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan and sauté mushrooms for 10 minutes. Stir mushrooms into lentil mixture. Remove bay leaf and discard. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour lentil-mushrooms mix into a well oiled baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

Combine parsley, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle it over the lentil mixture. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place on middle rack and bake it for 25 minutes or until lentils are bubbly and top is crispy brown. Just before serving drizzle some extra olive oil on top. Serve with a bitter greens salad.

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