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what to do with lentils besides soup?

  • m

A late spring cleaning of the kitchen produced several bags of lentils. Creative ideas are greatly appreciated. If not, I will toss them...

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  1. The recipe below for Green Lentil Salad, adapted from Flavors of Greece by Rosemary Barron, is delicious. I've never tried it with other varieties of lentils, but it's such a tasty salad, I think it would be worth a try.

    Green Lentil Salad

    10 oz. dried green lentils (rinsed)
    1 T. cumin seeds (lightly pounded in a mortar)
    1 sm. red onion, cut into thin rings
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
    1 sm. bu. flat leaf parsley, coarsly chopped
    2 T. fresh or 1 tsp. dried mint
    1 lg. garlic clove, minced
    4 T. finely chopped preserved lemon (I have successfully made this salad using chopped fresh lemon/salt/oregano and oil in place of the preserved lemons)
    2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
    2 T. strained yogurt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper for serving

    Place lentils in large pan and cover w/ 3 inches water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 mins until tender but not falling apart. Drain in colander and set aside. Toast cumin seeds in small dry pan for 1 min until fragrant.

    Combine onion, 1/2 of the lemon juice and 1/2 of the cumin, and a large pince of salt in a bowl. Chop 1 T. parsley and the mint leaves together and add to onion mixture. Set aside.

    Chop the garlic, most of the preserved lemon, the remaining cumin, half the remaining parsley and a pinch of salt together to mix. Combine the garlic mixture with lentils, the rest of the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stir to mix. Transfer to a serving platter, and top lentil mixture with with onion mixture (including any juices that have gathered in the bowl). Top this with strained yogurt. Sprinkle remaining preserved lemon and parsley and cayenne on top. Serve at room temp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanaB

      These lentils make fantastic sprouts to use in salads, on sandwiches and to add to after almost anything after it comes off the heat before serving.

      Edit: this was meant in reply to the OP.

    2. I mix them, like half and half, with rhubarb, and chicken stock to cover, and lots of India spices like curry, garam masala and tumeric, add something sweet like honey or chutney, and let it cook into a stew. It's a great dish.

      1. One of my favorites for lentils calls for the lentiles de Puy, the French tiny green variety. They get cooked up quickly with leeks and carrot and then top a green salad with a simple vinagrette with bacon lardons and on top of all of that goes a soft boiled or soft (runny yolk) fried egg. Heaven!

        1. Dal makhni.

          Or else papadum, if you grind them into flour.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Agree about dal - lots of online recipes for various dals. Preparation is similar, cook lentils until soft, add spices and ghee.

            1. re: cheryl

              Here's a link to one recipe that Simon provided.

              I guess you might consider dahl "soup" (sometimes I'll drink a cup or 2 without rice or anything) but it is tasty stuff....

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. This is what I do w/ lentils. I cook them in homemade veggie or chicken stock (ABOUT 1 part lentils to 2-3 parts stock). You could use store bought stock/broth, but be careful about the salt content. Cook them until they are semi thick (soft but not mushy) If it gets too thick, add more stock.

            In a separate pan sauté a good amount of minced ginger and garlic. Add a can of diced tomatoes (with the juice). Add turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Cook down for a few minutes, or until the lentils are done. Add this mixture to the cooked lentils and salt to taste. This makes an excellent (and healthy) side dish. I usually serve it with some tandoori chicken, Nan bread and tzaziki sauce. Yum.

            1. Stewed lentils under grilled salmon topped with rosemary (or dill!) composed butter, with sauteed napa cabbage and shitakes on the side. Mucho yummy, and pretty easy. (From White Dog Cafe cookbook). My chef friend pronounced it: restaurant quality!

              1. Thanks all - plenty of great ideas - I love you chowhounds!

                1. Absolute favorite comfort food: Syrian Lentils, courtesy of the washpost's A Mighty Appetite. Lentils, tons of garlic, swiss chard, cilantro, pomegranate molasses...I'm sure it makes fabulous leftovers, it just hasn't ever made it past dinner yet!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chocolatstiletto

                    If you are supersticious, lentils eaten on New Year's Eve are said to be good luck for prosperity.


                    1. re: jules127

                      in the south, you HAVE to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. And greens.

                      the lentil salads sound good. what kind of lentils? i have the old dull earth colored ones, and orange ones from the indian store...

                      and are those french green lentils really fantastic?

                    2. re: chocolatstiletto

                      Those Syrian Lentils sounded great so I googled the recipe. Here it is: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/mighty...

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        oh, thanks, duh, didn't think to put the link there- I usually just throw it together with whatever sounds reasonable (lots and lots of garlic, something green and leafy...) It's great with homemade pita chips on the side!

                    3. There's a good recipe for Lentil Curry in Diet for a Small Planet. You need onions, garlic, frozen peas, and half a head of cauliflower. It's served over brown rice. Condiments can include raisins, coconut, chutney, and so on; but I usually just mix some chopped cucumber with yogurt and serve that with it, or if I'm really lazy I skip the cuke.

                      In the same cookbook is a recipe for a simple lentil and rice stew called "Mjeddrah." She says it's the stuff Esau sold his birthright for. You eat it with a spinach salad on top; there's a recipe included for a simple olive-oil-and-lemon-juice dressing for that.

                      1. Don't throw them out! Lentils are quite good for you; how about just a simple side dish of cooked lentils with sauteed onions and curry powder.

                        1. Don't forget Mujaddarah the Middle Eastern lentils and rice dish with caramelized onions. Syrian soul food

                          1. There's a lentil croquettes recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon (yes, her real name) on epicurious, right now. Its from her book the Passionate Vegetarian, which won a James Beard cookbook award.

                            1. Try Lentils with Balsamic Vinaigrette...this is from Epicurious and I LOVE it with romaine (instead of endive) and a small sprinkling of feta..the warmed up lentils over the cool, crispy romaine is totally delicious:


                              1. Lentils topped with Italian Sausage and Fennel. Similar to the recipe here (http://dinewithdonna.blogspot.com/200...). Cook the lentils in salted water until tender. Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and cook over medium heat. When it's about half done add a chopped fennel bulb and chopped white onion, minced garlic clove, a tsp of anise seeds, s&p. Cook together until sausage is cooked through and fennel is tender. Top the lentils with the sausage/fennel mixture and enjoy.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: marianne215

                                  Alton Brown has a recipe for Lentil cookies, you can find it at foodtv.com