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Oct 20, 2010 12:36 PM

Favourite recipes using lentils----not soup recipes please

Want to add more lentils to our diet and am looking for some really tasty lentil recipes. Thanks.

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  1. There is a recipe I love for rice and lentils with crispy onions-- actually from the mayo clinic website! yum. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll paraphrase.

    2 Replies
    1. re: madisoneats

      We like cooked chilled lentils mixed with steamed string beans, dressed w/ garlic, lemon, sea salt, pepper, fresh oregano and topped with crumbled feta. Pine nuts are a great topping for this one.

      1. re: madisoneats

        That's mujaddara and is one of my favorite things to do with lentils.

      2. I use Claudia Roden's version of this recipe, but this one's pretty close:

        It is much better than the sum of its parts. Don't skimp on the cumin or the butter and definitely serve it with plain non-fat yogurt. Claudia Roden also suggests topping it with browned sliced onions, but I haven't tried this yet. If you're not familiar with red lentils, they melt and don't retain their shape when cooked, so don't be surprised if you end up with reddish pink rice. This is supposed to happen. It is still full of fiber and protein.

        If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, buy their precooked brown lentils (in the produce aisle) and mix them with a little walnut oil, red wine vinegar, minced shallots, shredded basil and toasted walnuts. This is delicious all on its own.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Isolda

          Thanks for the link Isolda. I am surprised Roden suggests cooking rice and red lentils for 45 min. I would be checking the rice after 15 min. and the red lentils could already be cooked by then. Sounds interesting though.

          1. re: Deborah

            Yes, very important point that I forgot to mention! The cooking time is really more like 25 minutes and you do need a little extra water! However, the dish is supposed to be mushy--think comfort food--so the texture is like an overcooked risotto, but in a very good way. And after posting that I'd never done the onion and halloumi topping, I decided to try it that way last night. It was amazing and I'll be making it that way from now on! I'd do 2 onions and about 8 oz of the halloumi.

        2. My take on Saucisson aux lentilles, with kielbasa, butternut squash and fennel in a sherry vinaigrette. Let me know if you're interested and I'll post the full recipe.

          5 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima

            Oh, that sounds good biondanonima. Please post!

            1. re: Deborah

              Sure, here you go! This makes enough for 4 generous servings, I would say, maybe 6 if you serve a salad or something else as a side (although I tend to serve this by itself, just with bread). The amounts are approximate and you can change the flavor profile with different herbs or more/less veg/meat very easily.

              1 smallish butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs)
              2 medium red onions
              1 large bulb fennel
              5 cloves garlic, chopped
              2 sprigs rosemary
              20 stems thyme
              a handful of fennel fronds (if your fennel bulb has them)
              10 sage leaves
              2 cups pardina lentils (I get these at a Hispanic grocery store - if you can't find them you can use regular brown lentils or green lentils de Puy, although I find they take MUCH longer to cook)
              1 bay leaf
              2 lbs kielbasa (I prefer the regular kind but you can use all beef or lite, whatever)
              1/2 c. olive oil, divided
              1/4 c. vinegar (mix of sherry, red wine, cider, etc.)
              2 T. balsamic vinegar
              salt and pepper

              Cut all the veg into 1/2 inch dice and toss with a generous amount of oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until deeply caramelized in places, about 40 mins. Add the chopped garlic about halfway through.

              Meanwhile, bring the lentils to a boil with the bay leaf (use plenty of water, they expand) and a little salt and cook until tender, about 20-25 mins (I actually like them a little mushy. Regular brown lentils get mushy faster than pardina, but greens take FOREVER to cook). Drain, remove bay leaf and set aside (keep warm).

              Slice the sausage thinly on the bias and place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast along with the veg for the last 10 mins of cooking. Once the veg are done, remove them and mix in the finely chopped herbs (keep warm). Set the oven to broil and broil the sausage until deeply browned (turn it and do the other side if necessary but usually the 10 mins at 400 takes care of the bottom).

              Once the sausage is done, throw everything (including any drippings in the sausage pan, yum) together in a big bowl and toss with the vinegars, oil and salt/pepper to taste. I prefer to use mostly sherry vinegar for this recipe, but you really can use any type you like, just know that a little balsamic is a MUST - the sweetness just sets everything off perfectly. Don't skimp on the olive oil, either - the lentils are dry without it IMO.

              1. re: biondanonima

                This is fantastic! I saw your recipe yesterday, then while in the grocery store today decided to buy the ingredients (the ones I could remember, anyway!) I got some root veggies in our last CSA share on Tuesday, so I used parsnips, beets and carrots in place of the butternut squash. Also doubled the fennel. These took about an hour at 400 to caramelise, but my pan was deeper and probably smaller than the one you recommended, and beets and parsnips cook more slowly. In spite of using a mediocre kielbasa (I wasn't at Whole Foods), this turned out really well. Am going to toss with more oil (you are correct about that!) and balsamic right before serving it to my soon-to-be amazed family.

                Thanks for posting. Everyone should try this because you really cannot mess it up.

                1. re: Isolda

                  Glad you liked it! Beets sound interesting - I'm not a fan but my husband would LOVE them. Parsnips too, yum!

                2. re: biondanonima

                  Agree with you on the vinegars and the liberal use of good olive oil which help to round it all out.

            2. A frequent meal my mother made when I was growing up was to simmer lentils with onions, bay leaf, and sliced daisy ham (comes in red plastic wrapping in the meat case - a smoked porky thing in the shape of a stubby, thick sausage) in less water than you'd use for soup. When the lentils are tender and starting to break down, it's done. Serve with buttered steamed potatoes and green beans. Kielbasa or other sausage would work too.

              I have sometimes put cooked lentils into my meatloaf and meatballs, about a cup per pound of beef. If your aim is to increase fiber and/or economize on your meat budget, this is a nice way to stretch a meal.

              You can make Kofte balls from lentils for a vegetarian version of meatballs.

              Vegetarian chopped liver uses lentils, with mayo instead of schmaltz.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                Genius idea to add lentils to meatballs! Will use this one very soon.

              2. There was a similar topic a while ago that introduced me to Madhur Jaffrey's lentils with garlic and onion (thanks nomadchowwoman!). Such simple ingredients and great flavor. I love to add roasted carrots to this, but it is great as written.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BigSal

                  I just made this recipe last night, and you're right -- way more than the sum of its parts. Really easy and really delicious! I made a batch of Marcella Hazan's braised carrots and a pot of brown rice for a really tasty, vegetarian dinner.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Glad you liked it. I haven't tried Hazan's carrots yet. Will have to give them a go. The brown rice really helps make it a complete meal.