What to do with French green lentils?
I have approximately two cups of dry green french lentils that I purchased from a local organic grocery store. I can't say I've ever cooked these before (though I have made bean soups, etc.) and am interested in tasty ideas. I have a smoked ham hock and ham slices in the freezer that could pair well with the lentils. Any other thoughts? I assume that I simmer them for a while in either water or broth to cook?
Duck confit on lentils is a French basic, lunch or dinner. It's wonderful. They'll need to cook for maybe 30 minutes.
French lentils hold their shape much better than the typical brown lentil or red, so are particularly good for salads and anything where you don't want the lentils to go to mush.
For a lovely side salad, cook them to al dente texture and toss with EVOO, red wine vinegar S&P, a minced garlic clove and fresh thyme. Add some feta cheese, and perhaps some finely diced roasted red pepper but not much else, this should be a very simple salad.
I love French lentils.
Most commonly I use them in soup...which isn't fancy but we really love lentil soup in our home. I don't like to puree my lentil soup so love the french lentils because they do hold their shape and don't turn to mush. Render the fat from a couple strips of bacon(save the cooked bacon to garnish when serving). Sweat some small diced mirepoix in the bacon fat. Add the lentils...add chicken broth, a bit of veal demi glace if you've got some, a sprig or two of thyme and a bay leaf and let simmer. I could live on lentil soup.
I also like to make salads with them. We made one earlier this week...tossed some warm lentils with some sauteed veggies and a sherry vinaigrette. Toss with greens and serve with a poached egg on top.
These are some of my favorite lentils, as the hold up well.
As the other posters stated, these lentils work really well as a cold salad. while my lentils simmer in water with a bay leaf for about 1/2 hour,I finely dice carrot, celery, and onion then saute them in olive oil. When the lentils are al dente I turn them off and let them sit in the water for about 20 minutes. This continues the cooking process, but really slowly so as not to break them. Strain in a colander then toss with veg. Add vinegar -sherry is my fav.- olive oil and serve them at room temp/cold.
Those ideas all sound terrific! I lucked out last night and found that my DVR had recorded a Good Eats episode on lentils, so I learned a bit more about them (and will definitely check for small rocks!) The salads sound wonderful because I'm not sure I bought enough for soup, and I have a nice bottle of sherry vinegar to use. I think I will give that a try first this weekend. Thanks again for the recipes!