The ultimate souvenir recipe, this recipe is a nod to a restaurant that's not around any longer. When I first graduated from college, I moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles and into an apartment with my older sister. We'd frequent this hole-in-a-wall BYOB tapas place that had a cool-kids-meet-Barcelona vibe and the menu—modern takes on classic tapas and lots of Rioja—channeled Spain almost as well as Vicky Christina Barcelona. The one thing I always think about is their crispy lentils with jamon—here I've added in some asparagus and a mustard sauce for a super simple Spring dish.
plus more for drizzling on the asparagus
woody ends trimmed
To Cook The Lentils: Rinse the lentils then pick out any debris. Place the lentils in a small saucepan and add the broth or water, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. (Keep adding water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered). Remove lentils from heat and add a big pinch of salt then drain. If you want them crisp, toss the lentils with additional oil, then add to the rimmed baking sheet to roast along with the asparagus.
To Roast The Asparagus: Meanwhile, heat an oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add the thin slice of prosciutto or ham and roast until ham is crisp and asparagus is knife tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness.
For The Creme Fraiche Mustard Sauce: Mix together crème fraîche, whole grain mustard, and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper then whisk until smooth. If needed, add some water until the sauce has the consistency of melted ice cream. Arrange the lentils and asparagus on a serving plate, top with the crisp ham, drizzle with the sauce and serve.
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