Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage

This classic dish of Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage is a meal I'd always find comforting!

(Updated with better photos and added to Recipe Favorites, October 2011)  I first made this comforting dish of Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage back in 2006.  That recipe definitely needed an update, so recently Jake and I made it again to take new photos and we also enjoyed eating it!  The recipe was inspired by one in The Silver Spoon, a classic Italian cookbook that I think every serious cook should own.  The addition of fried sage was my idea after seeing it on restaurant menus, and the fried sage was a wonderful addition to this dish.  Sage is something I have growing abundantly for most of the year, and when you fry it the sage flavor intensifies just a bit as the leaves are transformed into crispy morsels of sage-flavored goodness.  But if you like Italian Sausage and Lentils but don't have fresh sage, this dish would still be very good without the sage. 

The lentils are simmered with a few vegetables and some chicken soup base for extra flavor.

Meanwhile, brown the sausages well, until they're nicely browned on all sides.

Then let sausages cool enough to handle, slice them, and brown again so the cut sides are also nicely browned.  Don't rush the browning, because that creates flavor.

Here are the sage leaves from my garden that Jake and I used, but any type of fresh sage will work.  Garlic is heated in the oil to flavor it, and then the sage is fried for just a minute or two.

And here's how the fried sage looked after it had cooled a bit and been chopped.

Here is where the photo-taking got sidetracked when we got busy and forgot to take a photo of the cooked lentils and sausages mixed together in the pan with half the fried sage.  You'll have to use your imagination for that.  Serve the dish with some fried sage sprinkled on top.


And just to remind you why we're working so hard to update some of my earliest photos, here's the original photo from this recipe taken back in early 2006!


Sausage and Lentils with Fried Sage
(Makes 6 or more servings; recipe adapted from The Silver Spoon.)

Ingredients:
1 package hot turkey Italian Sausage (5 links - 19.5 oz.)
2 cups dried lentils
1 piece celery, cut in 3 inch pieces
1 whole carrot, cut in 3 inch pieces
1 small onion, cut in half
generous T chicken flavor base (optional, I use Better Than Bouillon Organic Low Sodium Chicken Base)
1 T + 2 T olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
20-30 fresh sage leaves
3-4 large garlic cloves

Instructions:
Put lentils, celery, carrot, onion, and chicken flavor base (if using) in large pot, cover with water and start to simmer. Let lentils cook until they are quite tender. Cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are, but probably about 45 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, brown sausage well in 1 T olive oil in large frying pan. Let sausages cool enough to handle, and cut in diagonal slices about 1 inch thick. Put back in pan and brown cut sides of sausage very well. Don't rush the browning step, it may take as long as 20 minutes.

When lentils are tender, drain well and remove carrot, celery and onion and discard. Put 2 T olive oil in frying pan that sausages were browned in, add garlic and saute until barely starting to color (don't let it get very brown or it will be bitter). Remove garlic and discard. Add sage leaves to hot oil and cook just until crisp, not more than a minute or two. Remove sage and chop with knife.

Add cooked lentils and sausages with half the sage back to pan, and saute 3-5 minutes in seasoned olive oil. Remove to serving platter, sprinkle over rest of fried sage and serve hot.


South Beach Suggestions:
It's important to use lower-fat turkey Italian sausage if you're making this for the South Beach Diet.  Legumes like lentils are allowed for any phase of the diet, but portion size is limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup for phase one.  Of course with a dish that has other ingredients you can have a slightly larger serving, but I'd eat a small portion of this with something like Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad on the side for phase one.


More Tasty Ideas with Lentils:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Spiced Indian Lentils from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mujadarra (Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentils with Spinach and Preserved Lemon from The Perfect Pantry
Spanish Lentils and Mushrooms from Herbivoracious
Pork and Lentil Soup from la Fuji Mama
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

25 comments:

Matt Armendariz said...

Oh my goodness I simply MUST make this! Sage has got to be one of my most favorite things on the planet, and combined with sausage? YES YES and YES!

sher said...

I'm going to make it too. It looks wonderful and those are all foods and herbs that I love. Great dish---as always!

tami said...

you read my mind on the sausage and lentils thing - i've been craving this dish for two weeks & just got the stuff to make it. the fried sage is a great idea and just takes it over the top. thanks!

Gabriella True said...

Thanks for posting this bc I was having trouble with cut up sausage in my recipes. I had cooked them up and cut them right before adding it to the rest of dish and then I did not get that yummy brown or I cooked it some more and the whole dish got too oily as the re-cooking in the complete dish leached too much oil out. Thanks for this!!

Leigh said...

Great recipe! My sage is springing up also, and I love using it in recipes! Also, this is user friendly for a household that does South Beach and Atkins. Hubby can eat as is, I remove the carrots and lentils for my portion.

Calendula & Concrete said...

Looks delicious. I love ANYTHING with sausage! My sage plants are just starting to grow. I hope I'll get enough leaves for frying. I've never tried fried sage. Sounds wonderful.

TBTAM said...

My God that looks delicious!!!

kellypea said...

Fried sage is quite the taste treat and it sounds great in this recipe. Didn't get to make your lentil recipe last night because the bag of lentils I had had torn and they were all over my pantry drawer : (. I've got a grocery list tonight, though. Will keep you posted.

CJ said...

Fantastico! I've had a hankering for lentils and have all the ingredients on hand. I'm starting to harvest and preserve/dry/freeze my herbs. This will be perfect!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Oh, this is my kind of dish. And I love seeing those old photos; your new photos really make the recipe come to life.

Kalyn said...

Oh Kelly, I hate it when things like that happen. I did love the fried sage in this one.

CJ, hope you enjoy it!

Lydia, thanks. I am having fun comparing the old and new photos!

Nichole said...

This looks SO amazing. I love sausage and lentil soup, so this variation is right up my alley! Fried sage is very tasty as well.

Kalyn said...

Nichole, so glad you like it!

chigiy Binell said...

I love sage. My husband makes pasta with sage butter sauce (I guess that's not very South Beach) He makes it perfect. When I try to fry sage, I burn it. whaaa. The combo of sage lentils and sausage sounds definitely worth making. Thank you.

Alice G said...

I like all kind of food which has sausage as a ingredient. I usually store it in the refrigerator all time.

Kalyn said...

Chigiy, that doesn't sound very South Beach friendly, but if your husband cooked it I would definitely eat some! Fried Sage is so good!

Alice, I am especially fond of turkey Italian sausage.

JP said...

NUTZ! I should know better than to read stuff like this on an empty stomach. I love Italian Sausage and always keep several packages in fridge and freezer.....which is where I'm headed now! Thanks!

Kalyn said...

JP, hope you enjoy it.

swimchick said...

I did this yesterday for dinner, because I had leftovers for my children in case they 'would say no to it' - so they at least tried it, because of sausage & lentils...
I used red lentils, because that's what I had on hand.
My husband gave it a thumbs up, my kids put it on the don't do it ever again list. I liked it, though my lentils ended up very mushy, but still I will do it again.
Thanks for all these interesting dishes, you try for us. I also made the salad, you suggested and it was a big hit.
By the way, my husband had at least two servings!

Kalyn said...

Swimchick, glad you and the husband enjoyed it. BTW, red lentils are means more for soup or dal, where the lentils are supposed to dissolve in the dish so they aren't really a substitute for the lentils used in this recipe. I probably need to be more specific about that!

JoJo said...

It's on the stove now! Smells wonderful.

Kalyn said...

JoJo, hope you like it.

Elizabeth said...

We adore sausage and lentils! But we'd never thought of adding fried sage to them. How brilliant.

And we just happen to have sage galore in the garden right now too. I can't wait to try your recipe, Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

Elizabeth I'm betting you will love it with the fried sage. It is so flavorful!

MA said...

I made this tonight and substituted Kale for the sage since I didn't have it on hand but had all the other ingredients. It was alright, but the Kale was a bit too bitter in this. Next time I am definitely doing sage.

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