14 February 2009

The French Market

The French Market is the second cookbook by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde. Harris, the acclaimed novelist, is also quite the cookbook author. Turns out, she is a bit of a philanthropist, too. Her proceeds from the cookbooks go to support Medecins Sans Frontieres, a non-profit international medical organization that provides emergency medical relief to victims of war, disasters and epidemics.

Looking at the beautifully photographs in these books is almost like being in France. I lied, there is nothing like actually being in France but sitting in snowy West Virginia, it’s as close as I am going to get this week. Besides, today is Valentine's Day, so I'm allowed to pretend I'm in Paris.

Here is her recipe for the quintessentially French Puy lentils. These small, dark green lentils are fine alone or a perfect starch for chicken or pork.

Lentilles Du Puy

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled, and chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
400g Puy lentils
500 ml red wine
200 ml water

Heat the oven to 350. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, seasonings, lentils, red wine and water. Mix well, bring to the boil, then place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check and stir, then return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. By now the wine should be evaporated, allowing the Puy lentils to absorb the rich flavors.

Now if only we were in Paris!

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