these lentils are bananas -                                                        cfsg by charlz koskinen
You're going to have to trust me. This dish is weird. But it is among the best I have made in a long, long time. In fact, I'm eating some of the leftovers this recipe afforded for lunch right now.

Start by getting 10oz of dry lentils in some water, boiling away. Then begin rendering 4oz of diced pancetta in a big ol' pan. When that secretes enough liquid fat to do so, add 8oz of ground pork, and cook until golden brown and sexy. You'll want the pork to be broken up into little tiny bits. This is, after all, a lentil dish, not a pork dish, so we don't want the pork to lend much besides flavor. Now, add 2 chopped bananas (yes, that's right. What did you think the title meant?), 1tsp fennel seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. The bananas won't really hold their shape as they cook, so it's no big deal how big or small or in what shape you cut them. While that's happening, purée 3 Roma tomatoes with 3 cloves of garlic, peeled of course, and add to your pan. Around this time, your lentils should be about 87% cooked, so strain those out and add them to your pan as well. Granted, you want your lentils to be a little bit al dente, so don't go crazy, but keep your giant pan on the heat until that raw garlic taste cooks off, which shouldn't take long, since the piquancy in raw garlic comes of allyl methyl sulfide gas, which will be released more easily if the garlic is puréed. Adjust for seasoning, and serve on fluffy white rice. Here, I garnished it with a few thin slices of banana and some curled tarragon leaves.

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