what to do with lentils besides soup?
- Mr. Bean
A late spring cleaning of the kitchen produced several bags of lentils. Creative ideas are greatly appreciated. If not, I will toss them...
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.
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.
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!
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.