March 17, 2012

Red Wine Lentils with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese

red wine lentils Greetings from Singapore! As I mentioned in my last post, I've gone to Singapore for a research conference, which my sister and I will be following up with a very brief trip to Thailand. I've been here for a couple days now and absolutely love it! I've gotten to do a bit of sightseeing and shopping, and I've tried some great food so far - I'll try to do a post about the food when I get back!

As promised, I'm trying not to ignore my blog while I'm away so I'm sharing a recipe I made before I left. This is also my second entry in the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Contest which ends March 19th, so I wanted to make sure I posted it on time!

If you saw my recent recipe for peanut butter lentil granola bars, then I don't have to bother repeating how healthy and versatile lentils are in cooking. They pair really well with meats like fish, but they are a good source of protein themselves and I love eating them as a base for a vegetarian main course, as they're used in this recipe for red wine lentils with roasted vegetables and goat cheese.

This dish was inspired by a recipe I saw on Cooking Light, but I ended up changing around so many of the ingredients and steps that I think it's safe to call it my own now. It's made of green lentils mixed with root vegetables that are roasted in a red wine dressing, then the whole thing is mixed with a really flavourful red wine sauce and topped with a bit of crumbled goat cheese. The result is a truly delicious dish with an earthy flavour from the lentils and vegetables that's deepened by the red wine sauce but brightened up by the bits of tangy goat cheese.

red wine lentilsI know this dish wouldn't win any beauty awards looks-wise (and it doesn't help that it was getting dark at the time I tried to photograph it), but despite its looks, you have to trust me that this really is a wonderful dish! What amazes me most about it is how it actually reminds of me meat - every time I heated up leftovers in the microwave, I could have sworn I could smell steak, probably because of the red wine sauce. That also makes me think that this would be a great dish to introduce skeptical meat eaters to vegetarian proteins like lentils. I gave some of my leftovers to my meat-eating boyfriend who has never had lentils before, and to my vegetarian sister who's quite familiar with them, and they both loved it!

The ingredients list may look a little intimidating, but a lot of the items are actually pantry staples (I only needed to buy carrots, parsnips, beets, tarragon, and goat cheese), and the recipe isn't difficult to prepare if you time all the steps right. I've tried to write the recipe directions in a way that makes it easy to know exactly when to do everything so that the dish will come together quickly and easily.

As with my lentil granola bars, if you want to help me out with this entry to the Canadian Lentils contest, feel free to leave me a comment on this blog post or head over to my post on the Canadian Lentils Facebook page to 'like' it. As the contest is now coming to a close, you'll also be able to find lots of other entries on their page, so be sure to check them all out if you're interested in finding more recipes using lentils! Thanks guys! :)

red wine lentils

Red Wine Lentils with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese

Inspired by Cooking Light

Serves about 4-5


For the roasted vegetables:
1 cup yellow pearl onions, ends trimmed and peeled
12 oz chopped peeled carrots (about 2 to 3 large carrots)
8 oz chopped peeled parsnips (about 1 to 2 parsnips)
12 oz beets (about 4-5 medium beets), peeled and chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

For the lentils:
3 cups water
1-1/2 cups dry green lentils

For the red wine sauce:
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
½ a vegetable bouillon cube
Salt and pepper

For topping:
4 oz crumbled goat cheese


Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Chop all the vegetables (pearl onions, carrots, parnsnips, and beets) into small, even pieces, about ½” thick, and transfer to a large bowl along with the garlic cloves. Mix the red wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and tarragon in a small bowl, then pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet, place in the preheated oven, and set the timer for 40 minutes.

When there are 30 minutes left on the timer, combine the lentils and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes (which should be the remainder of the time left on the vegetables).

Chop the onion and garlic and prepare ingredients for red wine sauce.

When there are 15 minutes left on the timer, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onions and garlic, and sauté until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste, thyme, and tarragon, and stir for another minute. Add the red wine, water, and bouillon cube, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer about 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

At this time, your lentils and vegetables should be done cooking. Check both, and allow to cook longer if they’re still hard. Otherwise, combine the lentils, vegetables, and red wine sauce and stir together.
Divide into bowls, top each serving with about 1 ounce of crumbled goat cheese (or more, if desired), and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.


  1. Singapore?! How awesome is that! I can't wait to hear more about it. 

    This meal is right up my alley. I love lentils, roasted veggies, and goat cheese! Win win!

  2. And it's another dish where you can drink the leftover wine while you cook - so add another win! :)

  3. This was a very tasty and hearty lentil dish - the red wine sauce really soaked into the lentils and veggies and gave them so much flavour! Thanks for sharing it with me!

  4. I am such a sucker for anything with goat cheese...and imagining it paired with the red wine...I'm in heaven! This is such a great meal!

  5. Sounds like you are having a great time in Singapore! Can't wait to see some pictures. Sounds like an incredible place! I'll have to add it to me "To See" list :)

  6. Haha thanks Joanne!  I'd never tried a goat cheese/red wine combination before but I really liked it!

  7. You should!  It's so different from other parts of Asia I've been to - it's nice to be in a clean and modern country that still has lots of cultural differences, and then it's a great starting point to visit other parts of Asia if you're ever planning a trip there!


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