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Recipe for Smoky black lentils and radicchio

Serves 4

¾cup balsamic vinegar
1cup black lentils or French green lentils
4cups chicken stock or water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2tablespoons olive oil
1tablespoon unsalted butter
3strips bacon, finely chopped
1stalk celery, finely chopped
1small onion, finely chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
2sprigs fresh thyme
1head radicchio, cut into wedges
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 9-inch baking dish.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the vinegar for
10 minutes or until it reduces to about ¼ cup; set aside.

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3. In a saucepan combine lentils, stock or water, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.

4. In another saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil, add the butter, and cook the bacon, stirring often, until browned. Stir in the celery, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

5. Place radicchio in the baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes or until the edges are charred and the center is almost tender. For a little extra char, you can broil the radicchio for a minute or two after roasting.

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6. Drain the lentils and stir them into the pan of vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish and nestle the radicchio in the lentils. Sprinkle with the balsamic syrup, more olive oil, salt, and pepper.   Adapted from Gather Journal fall/winter 2013 issue

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