I know that in polite company, you don’t try out new recipes on unsuspecting guests. But since my dinner guests are often close friends, I figure they can handle the challenge of ‘sure hope this turns out okay.’ Plus, as good as roast chicken is, that can’t be the only thing I serve company.
But when I made these lentils with bacon early last week, I knew they would be perfect for our little dinner party come Sunday. Double win – know what to do & know it will be good!
On Monday, I made them without the fennel (per the recipe on Amateur Gourmet) and on Sunday I added it in (per the original Anne Burrell recipe). Sure, if you have one on hand it doesn’t hurt, but it is not worth an extra trip to the store. What makes these lentils shine are the bacon (obviously), the still crunchy veggies (unlike those found in lentil soup) and the perfectly bright and balanced finish of mustard and vinegar.
I thought these lentils matched perfectly with steelhead trout (Monday) and salmon (Sunday) which both received a pan-sear/oven-roast-finish treatment. (They were also great reheated for a little lunch the next day, which is always nice to know.)
Maybe I will get in the habit of trying things out before guests come over … or on second thought, maybe sometimes is a good place to start.