When Andy was away last month, my cooking style changed dramatically. While I enjoyed eating smaller and lighter meals, I didn’t look forward to cooking because I knew Andy wouldn’t be coming home to enjoy it with me. I was reminded that meal-time is about so much more than the food itself, it’s about the conversation and togetherness that happens over the bowl or around the table. During that month, my girlfriends were good to come and join me for dinner or invite me out for a meal, but even still, I sat on the couch many nights watching bad TV while eating something I had mindlessly thrown together.
When I couldn’t face one more night of Arrested Development and avocado on toast, I decided to make a real dinner for myself, regardless of whether anyone would be enjoying it with me (but hoping someone would). It wasn’t until about 5:30 in the evening that I got around to asking my friend Wendy if she could join me for dinner. By chance, she was free, and a couple hours later we were sitting on my couch catching up, enjoying this simple, but hearty and flavorful lentil dish, and I felt full, body and soul. Grateful for the nourishing meal, but more than anything, for the company.
- 1¼ cup lentils (about 8 ounces)
- 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large red or white onion, halved and sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves.
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a generous 2½ cups of water and the lentils to boil in a covered medium (10-inch) skillet. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until water is almost absorbed and lentils are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, fry bacon in a second medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings and return skillet to the burner, increasing heat to medium-high. Add onions to skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until caramel colored, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Add thyme, lentils and bacon and continue to cook to heat through, just a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Mix yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spoon lentils into bowls and top with yogurt mixture; serve