This is a riff on a Bon Appetit recipe I found about 5 years ago. I’ve made it many times and even Nonna likes it if I overcook the carrots. It’s a really simple dish that is actually vegan when served on its own. Being the omnivore that I am, I usually top it with grilled pork tenderloins, or, as tonight, chicken breasts.

I had to pan-fry and then finish the chicken in the oven because somehow, the gas hose for the grill was eaten, broke, or somehow, otherwise, decided to come apart.


Your guess is as good as mine – no kinks, twists, bends, odd angles, or undue stress. A new assembly will arrive tomorrow by 8pm. Thank you, Amazon Prime.

While we do tend to grill a lot, a few days without it is not going to hamper our cooking. I do need it relatively quickly, however, because Victor takes of tomorrow for a 4-day business trip and I like my hot dogs charred.

The days of doing major home products and subsisting on chili dogs while he’s away are over for the time being – Nonna, messes, and hammering at 2 in the morning just don’t mix. But I do plan on canning another huge batch of Little Grandma’s Eggplant and another six or so pints of peppers. Victor brought in 6 more eggplants this morning and a huge basket of peppers. I’ll be out later to get green beans. Confined-to-the-kitchen messes for the time being.

This garden stuff is fun.

Strangely, though, nothing in tonight’s dinner came from the garden!

I usually use sherry vinegar when making this, but tonight I used a fig balsamic. You can use anything you like.

Lentils and Fennel

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or other good-quality vinegar)
  • S&P

Cook lentils in broth, uncovered, until lentils are just tender.

While lentils simmer, cut fennel bulb into 1/4-inch dice and chop about 2 tbsp fennel fronds for the finish.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet and add onion, carrot, fennel, and fennel seeds. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

When vegetables and lentils are cooked, stir lentils into vegetables and cook until heated through. Stir in parsley, vinegar, and fennel fronds. Add S&P, as desired.

Serve as a side dish or top with anything you desire!.