Recipe found on

Yields 4 servings


  • ⅔ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for serving
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 11 garlic cloves, 10 smashed, 1 left whole
  • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tsp. smoked paprika, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • ½ cup red split lentils
  • 2 bunches hardy greens (such as mature spinach, kale, collards, and/or Swiss chard), stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 thick slices country-style bread


Heat ⅔ cup oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Add the onion, fennel, celery and smashed garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 8–10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, 1½ tsp. paprika and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add the lentils and 1¼ cups water and stir again, scraping down sides of pot so that all of the lentils are submerged. Lay greens on top of liquid, but do not stir or toss them in. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are just cooked through and greens are wilted, about 10–15 minutes.

Uncover the pot and stir the mixture a few times to coat greens. Simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and the lentils are saucy (not brothy), about 2 minutes. Squeeze the juice of a lemon half into lentils. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low. Add 2 slices of bread and cook until golden and crisp underneath, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plates and turn fried side up. Repeat with 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining bread. Rub the fried side of each slice with the remaining whole garlic clove; season with salt.

Generously spoon the lentil mixture over toast; drizzle with oil and lightly sprinkle with more paprika. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over.