Braised leek and fennel with brown sugar lentils

June 6, 2012

Pretty, no? While the dish sounds complicated, it is actually fairly straightforward and a great way to use up last of spring’s root vegetables, leeks and fennel. And while it is a little bit sweet, the savory flavor of leeks and fennel will make up for it!

yummy dinner

Braised Leeks with Muscovado Lentils (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)


  • 2 leeks (Bluebird Meadows has a couple excellent o
  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 cup Imagine No-Chicken Broth
  • 2 tsp agave
  • salt and pepper


  • 2/3 cup Black Beluga Lentils
  • 1/2 TB unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TB light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 TB fresh parsley (from my garden!)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Halve leeks and wash them- make sure there is no grit on them. Heat butter on a pan at med-high heat and add leeks, cut side down. Cook 3 minutes or until browned.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil, flip, and cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Add broth, agave, salt and pepper. Turn down heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 25 minutes til buttery (it is okay to have a bit of liquid left in the pan, but if you want, you can let it simmer til the liquid is gone while you finish cooking the rest).
  4. Add lentils and 1 1/4 cup water and a pinch of two of salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and let cook gently until water is boiled off (you don’t want the lentils to be mushy).
  5. Heat butter and oil in another pan and then add lentils. Stir, then add sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and coat evenly (you don’t have to cook this for very long).

Braised Fennel (adapted from La Tavola Marche)

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • a few pinches of red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 large fennel, quartered
  • a glass of white wine (sweet and dry is good)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil with pepper flakes and garlic until golden brown. Discard or set aside the garlic.
  2. Add fennel, season with salt and pepper, and sautee for a few minutes.
  3. Add wine and cover. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 25-30 minutes or until fennel is tender. As with the leeks, it is okay to have liquid left over, but you can let it cook until the liquid is gone.

On a plate, put the braised leeks and fennel, then the lentils, and sprinkle the dish with parsley.

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