But I think Rachael has a few great things going for her. First of all, she has no formal training and points mostly to her family as influencing her propensity toward all things culinary. One of her greatest selling points is her innovation. Though I don't love everything she creates on her shows, she never does the same thing twice and is always creating new methods for eating some of the same items. Though she may not have as comprehensive a grasp on classic cooking methods as a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, she hides it well by bringing accessible and creative ideas to the kitchen. Rachael Ray makes it easier for modern families to come to the dinner table together by providing a wide array of quick, do-able, and delicious recipes for viewers to draw from.
I recently caught a few moments of Rachael's "30 Minute Meals" during which she made Sausage with Garlic Lentils. I am always trying to find some new way to make lentils in my own home. I guess part of it can be attributed to my repeated failures. Though I've enjoyed lentils before (prepared at the hands of others), I usually find myself disappointed whenever I use them in meals in my own home. There's also the adventuresome side of me that likes to use new mediums to support my meals - rather than rice give me barley, rather than beans I want lentils.
So I was intrigued when Rachael raved about these garlic lentils once served to her at a restaurant before orders were placed, when most establishments bring out the bread. She served them with sausage which may have been a better pairing than the fried egg that I used, but it had been a sausage-heavy week and I liked the way the tomato and garlic lentils worked for each other. Though I didn't follow her recipe to a T, she has here a pretty good method for infusing some real flavor into the ever difficult lentil that I challenge you to try.
adapted from Rachael Ray's Sausage with Garlic Lentils recipe
- 1 cup pound lentils
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 medium onion, peeled
- 5-6 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Put lentils, bay leaf, and half onion in pot. Cover with 2 inches water and cook over high heat, bringing to a boil.
2. Boil lentils 20-25 minutes, until they become softer but still have a bit of a bite to them.
3. Combine garlic and olive oil in large mixing bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
4. Discard bay leaf and onion.
5. Drain lentils and add to olive oil and garlic mixture. Add parsley, salt, and pepper, and toss mixture to coat. Enjoy!
Served with room temperature tomatoes, these garlic lentils make for a delicious Mediterranean side dish!