Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Lentil Recipe with Spigariello Broccoli

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.


  1. Sounds wonderful, where do I find spigariello Broccoli? I have never encountered this, and I love broccoli.


  2. Hi Muddy Boot Dreams, I bought my seeds from Seeds From Italy ( Spigariello tastes like a broccoli/kale cross and I've been using it like kale, it is yummy.

  3. This sounds divine! And I must thank you again for encouraging me to create and keep a better records for my seed planting. I've been working all morning on tweaking my charts.

  4. Mmmmm! This sounds delicious. I love salads made with Puy lentils and sweet onions - and the smoked sausage is a great idea. I think it's worth trying to find or make pomegranate molasses. I made some this autumn with pomegranates a friend gave us and it was wonderful, although you don't get much per fruit!

  5. Thanks Ang! I don't know about you, but it seems so much easier to keep track of it all with blogging.

    Chaiselongue, thanks. So you know how good pomegrante molasses is! :) I've been using it in a salad dressing lately, really good, especially when you've got some fresh juicy seeds to add to your salad as well.

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about my visit to the conservatory, but stay tuned. There are two more posts loaded with photos yet to come!

  7. This sounds delicious (and I even have the Pomegranate molasses). I'll try to do a vegetarian version this weekend, maybe I'll throw in some walnuts instead of the sausage.
    thanks so much!

  8. I'm so pleased to have found this recipe. I have more spigariello than I know what to do with. Thanks for posting.


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