My honey said this one was a keeper so here it is. I'm not quite sure how to classify this dish, it's not quite a stew, more like a warm salad. If you can't be bothered with pomegranate molasses (really you should try to find some, it is so good), leave it out or perhaps try a good balsamic vinegar, but start with half the amount since it is more acidic than the pomegranate.
Lentils with Sausage, Onions, and Spigariello Broccoli
1 cup lentils that stay intact when cooked,
--- such as du Puy, Pardina, or Norcia
3 cups water
3 smoked sausages, about 9 to 10 ounces
--- I used venison andouille
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
1 pound sweet onions, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup or more olive oil
--- (don't panic, it doesn't all end up in the dish!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch spigariello broccoli, about 1/2 pound,
--- tough stems removed, tender parts, including leaves,
--- chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or concentrate
--- or about 1/2 tablespoon good balsamico
Sort through the lentils to remove any stones or other debris, rinse them and put them in a medium sauce pan. Add the water, sausages, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, turn the heat low and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. This could take from 20 minutes to more than 40 minutes, depending on how old the lentils are. There should be very little liquid left when the lentils are done, it may be necessary to add more water if they take a long time to cook. When the lentils are nearly done, remove the sausages and set aside until cool enough to handle, then slice the sausages about 1/4-inch thick. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaves when the lentils are done.
While the lentils are cooking, put the onions in a medium sized skillet with the olive oil and fry the onions over medium to medium low heat (you may have to turn the heat down as the onions start to brown), until the onions are golden. Drain the onions through a metal sieve, saving the olive oil.
Return the skillet to the heat with a tablespoon or two of the onion flavored oil (reserve the remaining oil to saute something else that would taste good with the onion flavor, like potatoes). Add the garlic and saute briefly, don't allow it to brown. Add the chopped broccoli to the skillet and toss to coat with the oil, add a few tablespoons of liquid (lentil cooking liquid if there's enough) and cover the pan and braise the broccoli over low heat to whatever degree of tenderness you like, most of the liquid should be gone.
Add the sliced sausage, drained onion, and braised broccoli to the lentils, drizzle in the pomegranate molasses and stir everything together. Taste for salt, it may not be needed if the sausage is salty. Serve warm.
Makes about 4 servings.