Enjoy this winning combination of flavor and nutrients from a healthy dose of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. You can have it on the table in under an hour from start to finish!
1 whole clovegarlic
2shallots, coarsely chopped and divided
Sea salt and pepper
¼cupextra-virgin olive oil
1red onion, cut in half and then cut into thick ribs, separated
3stalkscelery, leaves included, cut into ¼-inch slices
2bunchesSwiss chard, about 2pounds, green, red, or rainbow, well washed and drained, stalks cut in half lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch pieces, and leaves cut into 1-inch slices
7-8 large leaves basil
Sort the lentils for any stones, then rinse the lentils and drain. Put the sorted lentils and the water in a heavy pot. Cover and place the pot over high heat. Add the bay leaf, garlic, and about a teaspoon of the chopped shallots to the lentils. Sprinkle with alittle sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook the lentils at a low-medium boil for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender to your preference. The time will vary depending on how old the lentils are; the older they are, the drier they are and the longer they need to cook to become tender.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining shallots, the red onion, and the sliced garlic. Sprinkle with alittle sea salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Add the celery and the chard. Sprinkle with alittle sea salt and pepper. Using two wooden spoons, toss the celery and chard with the onions to coat with the oil. Cover the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, using two wooden spoons to occasionally toss until the chard stalks are tender to your preference. Tear the basil leaves, then stir them into chard, stirring well to combine. Taste for seasonings.
Remove from the heat and cover the chard to keep it warm until the lentils are tender to your preference. When the lentils are tender, add the cooked chard and all the juices to the lentils and stir to combine. Taste for seasonings.