Braised lentils, so popular in Spain but oddly also the New Year’s Eve meal in Italy, are a perfect option for the colder months as they contain all the plant-based proteins and minerals, are a very complete food and allow us to eat larger portions for later freezing and regenerate at any time. They’re so simple that we just throw everything in the pot and forget about it after we’ve done all the other tasks. If we make more batches than necessary, the ideal is to turn it into a cream later by simply grinding the whole thing and leaving the black pudding aside for topping.
Today’s recipe is as simple as pot-cooking some lentils – express or regular – and then adding some fresh spinach at the last minute and also a few slices of fried Burgos black pudding, the kind with rice that stays crispy on the outside. If we want it less fat we can also grill it or if we want to make it vegan we can opt for a version with pumpkin and aubergine Ottolenghi style.
If you have a crock pot or a slow cooker, lentils with chorizo and black pudding (Asturian style, not Burgos) are always a perfect recipe for this type of utensils with which we can finish the meal, without even having to do it. If you want a more specialized option, we can always make lentils with clams and turmeric, with that Asian touch of a spice that’s naturally anti-inflammatory.
The possibilities that lentils offer us are endless, if you like them I wouldn’t miss those of Fismuler, almost dry with juicy bits, or those of Viridiana, in which Abraham García adds a tris of coconut milk and aromatic spices , they are ominous. Making them at home is not so complicated, but achieving extraordinary ones has its secret. The first, of course, lies in using a high-quality legume, in this case the Pardina variety, which is smaller and darker than the Castilian variety.
How to make lentils with black pudding and spinach
Pardina Lentil 250g
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons + 100 g for frying
Black pudding from Burgos, 1 unit
onion, 1 u
garlic cloves, 4 u
Sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon
Ground black pepper, q/s
laurel, 1 leaf
Chicken, vegetable or water stock, 800 ml
soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
Perrins sauce, 1 teaspoon
In a large saucepan, place the lentils, broth or water, peeled and halved onion, peeled garlic cloves, oil, paprika, salt and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. The broth must be at least 3-4 fingers above the lentils. If you prepare them in a regular saucepan, as soon as it starts to boil, you must reduce the heat until very soft and cook the lentils for about 45-90 minutes, checking if we need to add the broth when they run out of broth more. At the beginning it is advisable to cover them so that the steam is concentrated inside the pot.
If we use the express pot instead, we’ll need less broth. We will cover from the beginning and as soon as the valve rises we will reduce the heat to minimum and let it cook for 30 minutes. After this time we let the pot gradually cool down until the valve lowers by itself. We will correct the broth when we see that it has dried a lot.
When the lentils are tender and the broth has thickened (we can always crush the garlic cloves and onion and add the puree to the mixture), it’s time to incorporate the sauces and also the spinach. Always on low heat for 5 minutes.
On the other hand, prepare a frying pan with a pinch of olive oil and slice the black pudding. When the oil is very hot, fry the black pudding on both sides until very crispy on both sides. Remove the black pudding and place on kitchen paper to shed excess oil.
Serve the lentils, salt and pepper to taste, with the black pudding pieces and a sprinkling of mint or mint leaves, if you like.
Other recipes with lentils
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