Throughout my first journey to France I used to be caught by how a lot better even the only of dishes tasted, specifically, a really humble plate of lentils. In contrast to the mushy, soupy variations that I had beforehand made at dwelling, these had been hearty, toothsome, and intensely flavored—they had been like nothing I had beforehand skilled. I shortly realized that the first distinction was the truth that these had been French lentils, in any other case often called lentilles du Puy, a smaller, green-gray selection that grows in central France. However even once I received dwelling and tried to copy these pretty lentils at dwelling there was one thing that wasn't fairly proper.
I had been making an attempt my hand at French lentils with various levels of success for the previous few years once I lastly discovered the prefect recipe for Primary French Lentils in Dorie Greenspan’s Round My French Desk. Whereas I had all the time integrated a mixture of carrots, celery, and onions, I used to be lacking just a few key substances—one lone clove, a bay leaf, a little bit of Cognac, and most significantly, loads of inventory to prepare dinner the lentils in. These few substances made the entire distinction on the earth when it got here to the completed bowl of lentils. The flavors had been someway a lot deeper and extra pronounced, the one little clove added heat, the inventory a meatiness, and the Cognac a little bit of richness that you do not usually discover in legumes.