Spicy Lentil & Red Pepper Sausages
Admittedly, I should’ve taken more photos of this dish as it was coming together. But literally the only steps involve (1) blending all the ingredients, (2) forming the paste into sausages and (3) cooking the sausages in a pan, so really what all is there to show, right?
I cradled the handmade sausages in brioche hot dog buns and topped them with sauerkraut and balsamic red onions. In short, the flavors were spot on. If you want to keep things classic, a bit of onions + mustard on top would do just fine, too. If you want to channel your inner five-year-old, go ahead and skip the “adult” ingredients and slather on the ketchup.
INGREDIENTS - SAUSAGES
Yields about seven sausages.
1 c. dry lentils (any color will do)
2 T. garlic powder
2 t. fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers (use the Mezzetta brand in a jar)
2 T. adobo sauce (buy a can of chipotles in adobo sauce…feel free to add an actual chipotle pepper if you want it to be spicier)
1 T. olive oil
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/4 .t fennel seeds
1 c. sharp cheddar (use a dairy-free version to make the sausages vegan)
3/4 c. whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste (I recommend adding a fair amount)
INGREDIENTS - OTHER
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 T. butter (use olive oil or a dairy-free butter to make it vegan)
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Brioche hot dog buns (or a vegan option)
1) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of dry lentils and reduce heat to low. Place the lid on the pot and tilt it to allow steam to escape. Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and drain. Allow to cool for 15 or 20 minutes.
2) Add all ingredients (except the red onion, butter and balsamic vinegar) to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
3) Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Place two sausages on the pan and cook for about a minute. Use tongs to rotate the sausages every minute or so until all sides are browned. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining sausages.
4) Add 1/2 a tablespoon butter to a pan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the red onions and season with black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.
5) Assemble your meal by placing the sausages inside the brioche buns and topping them with sauerkraut and balsamic red onions.