If you love Italian food, here’s one for you. Risotto works just well not only with round grain rice, but also with other grains like wheat and – very special – with lentils. I go for the black ones called Beluga or for French Puy, they are both delicious. In combination with some blue cheese and dried fruits it’s just comfort food (as all Italian recipes are, aren’t they?).
Here’s my recipe
Chop a shalott and a garlic clove and sweat in olive oil. Add black or brown lentils (a small cup per capita) and deglace with some white or red wine. I had some leftover of a bottle of Gewürztraminer and it was just perfect. Time for the relaxed part: with lentlis you don’t have to pour the liquid step by step and stirr untill you get sore muscles like you have to do with rice. You just add the liquid all at once as the lentils don’t get creamy on the outside like the rice does. I took hot water (2 and a half as much as the lentils) and added some vegetable stock shortly before the end as lentils take a strange consistency when boiled in salt from the start. Let the lentils simmer untill they are as soft as you like them to be. Cut some blue cheese into small pieces (Gorgonzola is great, but any other sort will do the job as well), also a bit of dried pears or abricots. Once the lentils are cooked, add some butter or some soy margarine, salt and pepper and gently put in the cheese and the fruits. Add some herbs if you like – fresh basil will be just fine. That’s all. But that’s just what the Italian cuisine is loved for by most people I know: few ingredienst and great outcome. Buon appetito!
Here’s some more insight to the dish and the ingredients – and let me also share some photos with you, that Arne took just yesterday around Main Station and Auguststraße in Berlin Mitte (where we had a most delicious Mango Cheesecake at Café Bravo). Among them are two shots of corners that seem unchanged since decades. You don’t come across such places very often any more in Berlin Mitte.