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Wine-Braised Lentils Over Toast

Dish Type: Assorted Beans and Lots o'Lentils


  • 3/4 cup French Green or Black “Caviar” Lentils, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup each diced Onion, Carrot, and Celery
  • 4 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 1 halved
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/2 cups Dry Red Wine
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Prepared Mustard
  • 12 small Red Pearl Onions
  • 1 tablespoon Vegan Butter or Walnut Oil, to taste
  • 4 slices sturdy Country Bread
  • 1 big bunch Spinach or other Greens, such as Tuscan Kale, leaves only, washed


Parboil the lentils for 5 minutes and drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 2 or 3-quart saucepan.  Add the diced vegetables and cook over medium-high heat for several minutes, browning them a bit.  Add the crushed garlic, mash the tomato paste into the vegetables, then pour in the wine and stir in the mustard.  Add 1 1/2 cups water, the drained lentils, and 1-teaspoon salt.  Simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, blanch the pearl onions in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain.  Peel off the outer layer, then put them in a pan with the rest of the olive oil and cook over medium heat, sliding them in the pan now and then, until tender and beginning to color. Add a splash of wine or water towards the end and deglaze the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Wilt the spinach in a skillet in the water clinging to its leaves, season with salt and pepper.  (Tuscan kale will take about 7 minutes.)  Stir the cooked greens into the lentils, add a tablespoon of vegan butter or the walnut oil, taste again and season with salt, if needed, and pepper.

Make the toast and rub it with garlic.  Cut each piece in thirds and arrange them on the plates.  Spoon the lentils over the toast and garnish with the onions.

This recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers.

Read the blog post where this recipe originally appeared: Vegetarian Wine-Braised Lentils Recipe

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