French Lentils with Blue Cheese Butter
and spinach salad
Add a flavorful finishing touch to tonight's creamy lentils with a compound butter made with blue cheese. We last featured this meal in 2019.
Smarts 1: Compound butters can be frozen for up to a few months. Use them to add flavor to finished dishes (as in this recipe) or to add richness to soup, roasted vegetables, or toast.
Smarts 2: Be sure to get the lentils soaking 8 hours ahead.
- Cucumbers - 6 oz , diced
- Tomatoes, grape or cherry - 1 cup , halved
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Spinach - 8 oz
- Lentils, French or green, dried - 1 1/2 cups
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Cheese, blue - 2 oz , crumbled (sub feta or goat cheese)
- Thyme, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Parsley - 1 tsp , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 3 cups
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
Lentils – Rinse lentils and soak in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Onions - Dice onions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make blue cheese butter - Melt butter in the microwave. Stir in crumbled blue cheese and thyme. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Drain lentils and discard water.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions to heated oil. Saute until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add drained lentils, stock, and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, ~10 minutes. Add some more stock or water if liquid cooks off before lentils are tender. (Note: If you didn’t soak your lentils before starting, increase the amount of stock you add by 50% and plan to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them and add additional liquid if needed.)
While lentils simmer, in a large bowl whisk together vinegar, honey, and mustard. Add olive oil while whisking. Top dressing with spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Toss everything to combine.
Taste lentils and season with some salt and pepper.
Divide lentils between serving bowls and top each bowl with blue cheese butter. Add parsley on top.
Serve lentils with salad on the side. Enjoy!