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Sautéed Bacon, Mushrooms, and Lentils

Small brown lentils work well in this recipe because they stay firm during cooking, but the big green ones called castellanas have a good flavor, too.–Editors of Tapas and Other Spanish Plates to Share

LC Bacon Makes Everything Better Note

While it may seem criminal to bathe the walloping nutrition of lentils and mushrooms with anything unwholesome, there’s something to be said for quality of life. So crumble all the bacon you want on top of this simple side dish. Heck, replace the olive oil with copious amounts of bacon drippings. No need to feel any remorse. (Don’t believe us? Take a cue from fat evangelist Jennifer McLagan).

Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms, and Lentils Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups small brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 quart (4 cups) cold water or chicken stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces small cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
  • 4 ounces oyster or other mushrooms, cut into pieces
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 6 to 12 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut

Directions

  • 1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water or stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. (The exact timing will depend on the type and age of the lentils.) Drain well.
  • 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened and pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, the 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Remove and discard the garlic. Taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, fry the bacon until crisp.
  • 4. Sprinkle the lentils with extra parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better.
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