Italian sausage, lentil and kale stew
I came up with this recipe by just using what I had around the house from grocery shopping over the weekend. It was a chilly night (for San Diego anyway) and I wanted something that would be easy to make but hearty and warming as well. I had some lentils in the pantry and figured a simple stew with the lentils, sausage and kale would do just the trick!
5 sweet Italian turkey sausages (can be spicy sausage if you’d prefer)
1 lb whole lentils-rinsed and sorted
3 cloves garlic-finely chopped
½ yellow onion-finely chopped
1 bunch Kale with stems removed and cut/torn into bite size pieces
2+ tablespoons Italian seasoning mix (Thyme, Oregano, Basil, etc.)
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese with more for garnish if desired
¼ cup or so red wine
1-2 cups water-(although stock would be best I just didn’t have any)
2 bay leaves for lentils (optional but adds a nice layer of flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped chives for garnish
First cook your lentils according to the package. Usually about 7+ cups of water and simmering covered for 50 minutes does it. If you have a couple bay leaves throw them in to add more flavor and remove when done cooking. Also make sure to drain your lentils well after cooking.
Next I fried all the sausages whole in some grape seed oil in the large pot/dutch oven I would be using for the stew.
When these are cooked through remove them and once cooled slice into bite sized pieces.
Next add a little more oil (if needed) back to your pan along with the diced onions and cook down for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
After the garlic has cooked add back in the sausages and stir everything together cooking for another couple minutes. Now is the time to add your red wine and de-glaze the pan as they say on Food Network. Scrape the bottom of the pan so you get all the good bits of flavor into your stew and add back in the cooked lentils starting with about 1 cup of water to thin slightly. (Please note chicken or veggie stock here would be even tastier I just didn’t have any on hand) At this point start slowly adding your chopped kale in a handful at a time stirring well to incorporate it into the stew. Once all the kale is in check your moisture level and if it seems to thick feel free to add some more water. This can be more stew-like or more soup-like depending on your own preferences. Once everybody is in the pool it’s time to season with salt and pepper as well as the Italian seasoning and add in your parmesan cheese. I have some great new seasoning blends I got online from a place called The Spice House and their “little Italy” blend is absolutely delicious and perfect for this recipe. Any Italian seasoning blend will do though and I’d say add about 2 tablespoons depending on your taste. Serve in a bowl topped with fresh chopped chives and some parmesan cheese if you’d like. Enjoy!