I enjoyed this meal a few weeks ago when I was looking for a dinner that felt fancy but wasn’t too difficult to make. Jake helped me wrap the veggies with the prosciutto, so it went pretty quickly and we were able to have an elegant dinner in about 45 minutes. I really enjoyed the balance of salty meat with the sweet roasted root vegetables over an earthy, tart bed of lentils. It was a tasty (and cheap!) French-inspired dinner.
For the lentils
- 1/2 cup raw Puy (French) lentils
- chicken stock
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- white wine
- white pepper, black pepper, salt
For the vegetables
- 2 Parsnips
- 4 Carrots
- 1 cup sticks of peeled butternut squash
- olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 clove garlic
- 8 slices prosciutto
- parsley to top
Cook’s note: You may also use rutabaga, turnips, sunchokes, fennel, or other flavorful roots as substitutes for the parsnips, carrots, and butternut squash.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse the lentils in a strainer and pick out any bad ones. Then, put into a pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then let the lentils simmer, about 40 minutes, until cooked. Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally. If they start to seem very dry, add a little more stock.
Meanwhile, peel the parsnips, carrots, and butternut squash and cut them into sticks about one half-inch thick. Crush one clove of garlic and mince the rosemary. Dress the vegetables with some olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes.
Start to prepare for the lentils. Dice the onion, celery, carrot, and two more cloves of garlic. Add to a large saute pan with a little bit of olive oil and cook over medium heat until the onions start to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Then pour over the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. When the lentils are done, drain them and add them to the pan. Mix all of the vegetables together and season to taste with tarragon, white pepper, black pepper, and salt. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while you wait for the roasted vegetables.
Slice the prosciutto into strips about 1/2-inch thick. After the vegetable sticks have roasted for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven. Working until the prosciutto strips are gone, roll a strip of the meat around the width a vegetable stick and place back on the baking pan, seam side down. When you have used all the prosciutto, turn over remaining vegetables and place the pan back in the oven for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy and the vegetables are soft.
Serve the wrapped roasted vegetables over a bed of the lentils, topped with parsley. Accompany the meal with more wine and a good bread!