Recipe of the Week: Lentil and 3 Root Vegetable Stew with Kale!

A few months ago my friend Erin made a savory canellini bean and kale stew for a dinner party she hosted that was absolutely to die for! Ever since then I have  thought about replicating that dish in some way or another and thanks to Bon Appetit’s March 2011 issue my intent to make a savory kale stew came true! Their “meatless main” feature had a recipe for a lentil, three root vegetable and kale stew that sounded just too easy to pass up!

While BA kept theirs completely meat free I just had to add a little McKenzie into this dish and in doing so incorporated one of my favorite ingredients to cook with…rendered bacon fat. For those who scoff or may wonder how many uses fat really has let me tell you this…I use it to replace butter and oil  when frying or sautéing, I slather it on turkeys and chickens to get a delicious crispy crust when roasting, and lately found a way to incorporate lard into my pie crusts!  Anyone who has had my famous baconcakes can probably attest to the greatness of using rendered bacon fat,  it adds that much more gusto to your dish!

The Park Slope Coop (my grocery store) did not have any brown lentils (what the recipe called for) but you can substitute any lentil you wish (I used green lentils). With spring fast approaching make sure to replicate this hearty stew as soon as possible!  I ladled the stew into bowls and served with slices of a  rosemary round from Amy’s bread and a large glass of wine…even though I was on my couch in rainy NYC, I felt as if I were in some cozy dwelling in the middle of the French countryside. 

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbl rendered bacon fat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound lentils (green or brown), rinsed and sorted thoroughly
  • 1 tbl herbes de Provence
  • 8 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped

To Make:

  • Heat bacon fat in large pot over high heat
  • Add onion and saute for 1 minute
  • Add rutabaga, carrots, and celeriac, season with salt and pepper and saute until they begin to soften and brown (about 10-11 minutes)
  • Stir in lentils and herbes de Provence

  • Add broth and bring to a boil
  • Incorporate kale and reduce heat to medium low 
  • Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally
  • Add more broth to thin if you wish (I like mine thick) and season with salt and pepper

  • Enjoy!
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