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Nov 10, 2009 03:56 AM

Foolproof bean/lentil recipes you love to make again and again

This winter I am working on conquering my beanphobia. For too long beans, lentils, dried peas, and other pulses have loomed at the edge of my cooking consciousness, with their long soaking times, delicate constitutions (don't add salt! or tomatoes! or look at them funny!), and disturbing potential for gassiness.

I have a couple recipes that I've made enough times now that I know I can count on them. One is for French Lentil Soup, the other is for a red lentil dish that is somewhere between a salad, a soup, and dal. The internet is full of recipes for beans/lentils/etc. but I don't want to waste my time (and possibly cement my phobia) on an unverified recipe.

Do you have any great bean standards? Preferably recipes made with fairly common ingredients that are so delicious you find yourself making them over and over? I'm vegetarian and gluten-free, but if your favorite bean/lentil recipe isn't, I'd still love to know about it. I'm a good recipe adapter (although that's probably what gets me into trouble with the beans in the first place...).

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  1. One of my favorite beans is the Fava I have dried both split and whole, jarred,canned and frozen I stew them briefly with tomato,onion and basil or with zatar and cumin maybe some oregano .Sometimes pasta or couscous EVO a must. lentils stewed with cut carrots onions sometimes with curry powder or just ginger and cumin ,rice or pita .I don't use formal written recipes and haven't had any problems as of yet. I also like gandules cooked with sofrito(sometimes with ham bits) and yellow rice .Cooked black beans over corn tortillas or chips baked with soft cheeses melted and with cooked onions Now Thats Good have a salsa and bottled hot sauce nearby .

    1. I love this Neapolitan Pasta and Lentils recipe, and you can use all the bits and bobs of pasta that you've accumulated.

      1. Oh, you must try goodhealthgourmet's healthy black bean dip..many of us go nuts over it--I soak my own black beans and cook them instead of using canned (most of the time...sometimes I just gotta have that bean dip right NOW):

        1. I LOVE this recipe. It's so easy and very forgiving. I use canned beans, rinsed and drained, usually substitute kale for the swiss chard, and serve it with a poached egg on top and some nice crusty bread.

          1. I can't find a link now, but you really have got to try the white bean and tomato recipe in Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything." (I have the updated version, but it must be in the older version too.) It works fine with canned or dried beans and I like to use the Pomi parmalat chopped tomatoes. Holy crap, it is amazing for something so simple. Use the butter--just a tiny bit makes it taste amazingly creamy. It is a great side for fish.