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Instant Pot Cider-braised Lentils with Apple-Radish Pickles

We are focused on raising adventurous eaters in our home—one of our favorite ingredients to play around with; lentils.

Proud Mama moment. My eight-year-old twins made their own lunch today utilizing yummy leftovers from dinner last night. They wanted to eat healthy food. Their lunch included greens dressed with a simple honey-mustard vinaigrette topped with these cider-braised lentils with apple-radish pickles. They added a chopped-up dill pickle for kicks too. 

You never know how your kids will respond to new recipes you try. I made this for the first time yesterday, and simply converted the recipe I found from Milk Street to work in an Instant Pot. It turned out so well, we all agree this dish will be added to our regular rotation of meal plans.

Ingredients

4 tbsp Butter, divided

4 large shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1 cup apple cider

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp whole-grain mustard

Kosher salt & black pepper

1 ½ cups French green lentils, rinsed and drained

3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

8 small radish, sliced thin (about one cup)

1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into ½” pieces

Garnish with fresh goat cheese

Directions

Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté over regular heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter and allow to brown slightly. Add ¾ of the shallots, and cook, stirring often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme sprigs and cook until it smells incredible, about one minute.

Stir in the cider, mustard, 2 ½ tsp salt, and ¾ tsp pepper. Continue to cook on the Sauté function for about 6 minutes until the liquid has almost entirely reduced. Now add 3 ½ cups of water and the lentils.

Change the Instant Pot to High-Pressure setting for 10 minutes and ensure the lid is secure and the pressure release valve is closed. Once the ten-minute cook time has passed, it will naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes. Then quick release the pressure.

While the lentils cook, combine 2 Tbsp vinegar and 2 tsp salt in a quart-sized mason jar or bowl. Stir to dissolve the salt. Add the radishes, apple, and remaining shallot. Twist on a lid and mix the mixture.

When the lentils are finished, season to taste, remove the thyme stems, and stir in the remaining 1 tbsp butter, chopped thyme, and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Serve topped with the apple-radish quick pickle and goat cheese. These lentils taste delicious with Salmon and Roasted Herbed Acorn Squash or on top of a fresh green salad.

Carilyn Mae

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