I'm loving a salad I'm making right now- 1/2 lentil and 1/2 couscous. Cook the lentils for just 15 mins until cooked, not mushy. You can use any veg you want- this week I did diced zuchini, tomato, shredded carrots, minced red onion, and diced yellow pepper. My grocery store happened to have a herb mix of cilantro, mint and chive so I minced that up and added with a splash of balsamic and olive oil. Season and yum! Healthy and filling.
For more Western/French style, I follow loosely a recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook. Cook the green lentils, then simmer green lentils with broth, onion and carrot. It should be fairly dry. Toss with mint and serve with little cubes of beet and a drizzle of balsamic. I serve this with grilled or other simply prepared fish.
This is a fantastic side dish - from Patricia Wells’ Provence Cookbook.
Lentils w/ Capers, Walnuts, Walnut oil, and Mint
2 TB lemon juice
Salt to taste
6 TB walnut oil
1.5 c (8 oz.) lentilles du Puy, those tiny dark French lentils
2 c chix stock
1 carrot, peeled
1 onion, peeled, with a clove stuck in it
1 c walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
½ c capers in vinegar or brine, drained
1 c fresh mint, coarsely chopped
Stir salt into lemon juice to dissolve. Whisk in walnut oil to make a dressing. S&P to taste. Set dressing aside while you make the salad.
Place lentils in a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Put lentils in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to boil. When the water boils, remove from heat, drain the lentils and rinse again. Put them back in the pan, add the chix stock, salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add carrot and onion and simmer lentils over low heat until just tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain the lentils if there is any liquid left, and remove the onion and carrot. Transfer lentils to a bowl and add vinaigrette, walnuts, capers, pepper, and ¾ of the mint. Toss, taste for S&P. Serve warm or room temp, garnished with the remaining mint.
If your side dish plans include a salad, a very nice salad is lentils tossed while still warm with a lemony, garlicky vinaigrette and any/all of the following: diced tomatoes, finely minced scallions or red onion, parsley or other herbs, minced celery, chopped hard boiled eggs, spinach leaves or other greens.
The vidalia onions in season caramelized have a sweet flavor. Added brown lentils and some chicken broth to the pan after onions were carmelized and set aside. I cooked the lentils until they were done and added the same amount of rice as the lentils with additional liquid. Seasoned the dish with cumin, cardamon and cinnamon. Topped with carmelized onion,
I made this for dinner tonight. This dish has a lot of different variations and spellings. A similar dish has bulgur in place of rice. It's a little bit less substantial -- more of a side dish. Made with rice, this dish is very filling.
The key to both dishes, I think, is lots of caramelized onions and lots of olive oil. Claudia Roden's recipe also calls for some onions that have been sweated and lightly browned, but not caramelized. I think that's a nice touch.
i don't know about anyone else, but i'm gonna need more detail for this one. a side dish to go with WHAT? is there a particular ethnic cuisine you had in mind? certain flavors, herbs & spices you love? hate? will it be served cold or room temp? green lentils, black lentils, yellow lentils, red lentils...?
i think you get the idea ;)
ok then, i guess i'll just dive in:
- barbecue lentils are a terrific alternative to baked beans
- masoor dal is terrific if you want an Indian-spiced dish that's not too complicated to prepare
- this Gourmet recipe for lentil salad with tomato & dill is delicious and perfect for this time of year
- lentil salad with mint, feta, shallot or red onion and a red wine vinaigrette