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Recipe: Lentils with Cabbage and Morel Mushrooms

Steve Sando, of Rancho Gordo, is offering "Sunday Morning" viewers this recipe:

As almost everything I make goes, this one is easy to improvise with. I had morels so I used them. Maybe you have shitakes or porcini. The method is the same. Obviously, if you don't want the bacon, just leave it out and increase the olive oil for sautéeing the cabbage. I used our Green Lentils, but I think this would be great with our Black Caviar lentils as well.

Lentils with Cabbage and Morel Mushrooms
Serves 4 to 6 hungry people


For the lentils

1 pound Rancho Gordo French-style Green Lentils
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
¼ cup olive oil

For the cabbage and mushroom mixture

1 cup dried morel mushrooms
2 to 3 slices of bacon
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
Fresh chives or parsley, chopped


  1. Rinse the lentils and check for organic matter and discard. In a large pot, sauté the onions, garlic, salt, and bay leaf in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils and cover by 2 inches of fresh water. Bring the pot to a full boil over high heat. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially covering the pot to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft.
  2. Soak the morels in water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Gently remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and set aside. Strain the soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth. Reserve the liquid.
  3. In a large open pan, add the bacon slices and cook over medium heat until cooked, turning once, about 15 minutes. Remove and reserve the slices. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. Sauté the onion in the fat until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the butter and once melted, add the cabbage and stir well. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the cabbage is barely done, avoiding overcooking and making it mushy, about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, chopped or whole as you prefer. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid.
  4. Drain the lentils, reserving the liquid. Add the lentils to your serving platter and add a little of the reserved broth if it seems to dry or you prefer the dish a little soupier. Gently spoon the cabbage and mushroom mixture over the lentils.
  5. Chop the reserved bacon and lightly add it to the dish with the chives or parsley. Serve with a salad and bread. 

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