Natalie McLaury considers herself a bit of a hoarder when it comes to magazines. Never one to pass up a good deal on a subscription, it’s to the point where she now finds herself receiving a magazine in the mail several times a week. Most of the time, she rips out pages of recipes but fails to actually create the recipe in her kitchen. Not anymore! Join Natalie as she cooks the magazines.
By Natalie McLaury
Okay, I know lentils are like the least glamorous food out there and they don’t exactly photograph well, but this might have been my favorite way I’ve ever eaten them. When I saw this recipe in Redbook Magazine in their feature on Fall salads, I was drawn to the pear and gorgonzola additions. Then, reading through the recipe, I was intrigued by the way the lentils were cooked. Instead of just simmering them in water, a twine-wrapped bundle of carrots and herbs was cooked in the pot along with some smashed garlic.
- for the lentils-
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 small carrot, quartered
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- for the dressing-
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- for the pears-
- 2 firm-ripe pears, quartered lengthwise
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp packed brown sugar
- 3 oz Gorgonzola cheese, coarsely crumbled
- Rinse the lentils with cold water. Tie carrot, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf in a bundle with string and place in a medium saucepan with the lentils and garlic. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain and discard bundle and garlic.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a glass measuring cup. While lentils are hot, toss with dressing in a large bowl.
- Core the pears and thinly slice. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and sprinkle with brown sugar. Saute on both sides until golden and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Place lentils on a large platter. Arrange pears on top and sprinkle with Gorgonzola. Serve immediately.
Natalie McLaury is a St Louis based food writer with a passion for real food and experimenting in the kitchen. Her cooking ranges from healthy three course meals to decadent desserts, and she shares many of her food tips and recipes on her successful The Sweets Life blog . As an avid runner and fitness expert, she also gives the occasional tips on how to combine a serious interest in health with a sweet tooth.