Sometimes, when we're dining out there's a dish that screams - figure out how to make me at home! And these lentils are one of them.
This is my take on an appetizer we always get at Scarpetta in Newport, RI. The rosemary and tomato pair perfectly with the earthiness of the lentils. Just add a side of garlicky sautéed spinach or broccoli rabe for the perfect winter meal.
Rosemary Braised Lentils
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 Tbs. (+ 1 tsp.) fresh rosemary, minced
2 Tbs. tomato paste
15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup French lentils
2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (to taste)
Heat a medium-size pot (with lid) to medium. Add olive oil and onion - sauté until translucent and just starting to brown. Add garlic + rosemary + red pepper flakes and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more until starting to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.
Tip in diced tomatoes, lentils, vegetable broth, 1/2 cup water, and salt. Simmer, slightly covered, 30-40 minutes until lentils are just tender. Add additional 1/2 cup water (or more) as needed if the pan looks dry and lentils are still not cooked. Taste for salt and adjust to your liking.
Finish with additional 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary before serving.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Simply add a splash of water when reheating.