The Palouse area of northern Idaho and eastern Washington is known as the “Dried Pea and Lentil Capital of the World”. I serve this as a main dish, or as a side dish for picnics and barbecues. I’ve used the recipe for many years.
- 2 cups dried lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley — chopped
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 3 bacon slices
- Cook lentils in a quart of boiling water until barely tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
- While lentils are cooking, sauté vegetables in butter over low heat until tender. Stir in flour and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in beef stock and bring sauce to a boil. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs.
- When lentils are cooked, drain and stir into sauce. Spread in a shallow, buttered pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cut bacon slices into quarters and place on top of lentils.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, until bacon browns.
For a vegetarian version, omit bacon and use 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock and 1/2 cup V8 juice in place of beef stock.