Spiced lentils with arugula and fried eggs [Vegetarian]

Jaymi's Notes: Wow! I just wanted something quick and easy for a late breakfast that would use the lentils I'd bought for the lentil tomato soup cooked up last night. But this took me by surprise with how intricate the flavor is!

I didn't have an onion so I used a shallot, which worked just fine, and I skipped the pancetta. The tomato puree lends a sweetness, and the arugula adds an earthy bite that keeps it from being too sweet. Far more flavorful than I expected, and full of texture, this dish made for one great brunch. I loved the fried egg on top, making it more a breakfast meal, but I would definitely eat just the lentils on their own as a side at any meal.

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Kelly's Recipe:
My husband loves fried eggs, and his favourite breakfast is a toad in a hole, or egg in a basket, however you want to call it. For him, it is a breakfast seemlingly reserved for the summer time, and it's pretty much the only time he eats it. Other than that, if I cook eggs, I usually scramble them, because it's the only way that I like them, and I'm the cook. There are lots of people who top wilted salads or other greens with an egg, as I did with this braised kale and eggs on toast, but it's really not for me.

However, when I made this dish of lentils with fried eggs my husband got the whole recipe including the egg, my daughter and I ate just the lentils, and we were all happy. These lentils were really delicious the next day as well. The recipe does call for pancetta, but it's easy to omit it for a vegetarian meal, and without the egg the dish is vegan.

This recipe is from The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

Lentils with Fried Eggs

1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery stalk
1½ cups green lentils
¾ cup tomato purée
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 cups baby arugula
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté for three minutes or until it begins to brown. Add the onion and celery and cook for two minutes or until softened. Add the lentils, the tomato purée, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil then turn heat to medium low and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and cooking liquid has reduced to a sauce.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

2. Add arugula and cook for one minute or until just wilted.

3. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add eggs and fry for 1 minute or until whites are set. Cover skillet and continue to fry one to two minutes, or until edges are golden and top of yolks are set with runny insides.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

4. Spoon lentils onto serving dish and top each with 1 fried egg. Sprinkle with chives.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Enjoy!

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: The Cooking Project | Weekday Vegetarian

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