Content-Type: Food Blog
Learn the best methods for consistently preparing lentils.
Lentils are a great way to add protein to salads, sides, and more because they’re tasty, filling, and simple to create.
They are among the first foods you should use if you’re interested in incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet.
These little beans are packed with fiber and protein, they boil up quickly, and they provide a great earthy flavor to a variety of meals.
They are simple to prepare using my method! It consists of just two simple steps:
- Rinse. Sometimes dry lentils will be combined with tiny rocks or other detritus. Before cooking, rinse them in a fine-mesh strainer and inspect them for any foreign objects to prevent eating them. Along with the trash, throw away any shriveled lentils.
- And simmer! You don’t have to follow a certain ratio of lentils to cups of water during cooking, unlike when you’re making couscous or quinoa. Just put them in a sizable pot, cover them halfway with water, and bring them to a boil. Simmer them until they are soft. Depending on the sort of lentils you’re cooking, the precise cook time will vary.
DIFFERENT LENTIL SPECIES AND THEIR USES
Not all lentil kinds may be used interchangeably, and each one performs best in particular sorts of recipes. The most typical types you’ll find in stores are listed below, along with advice on how to use each one:
1. French green lentils or Le Puy
My preferred variety! These guys maintain their shape when cooking and have a delicious crisp texture. They taste great in my curried lentil soup, and I also like to use them in lentil salad and spaghetti sauce.
2. Beelzebub lentils
These black lentils resemble the French green type in many ways. They may be substituted for one another! They take around 20 minutes to cook and have a satisfying bite. When I want to offer lentils as a robust side dish or add them to a salad, I go to them.
3. Brown or Green Regular Lentils
These would be a great option if you’re cooking a hearty broth or stew. As they cook, they lose their ability to maintain their structure and become mushy.
I like to add them dry to a large pot of soup and cook it for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are soft.
4. Red lentils
Lentils of any color, save red (or yellow), and cook the fastest. After only 15 minutes of cooking, they are soft and delicious. They melt and dissolve when cooking, giving food a delectable creamy texture.
As a result, they make a terrific addition to hearty stews, curries, or Indian dals. I even mix them into a delicious dip that resembles hummus!
You can discover my preferred technique for flavoring cooked French lentils below. To create a filling side dish or the foundation for plant-based bowls, I toss them with red pepper flakes, Dijon mustard, fresh herbs, and lemon juice.
They’re one of my favorite proteins to meal prep and keep on hand in the fridge because they keep for up to 5 days.
There are countless applications for them beyond this straightforward preparation. In addition to the dishes for lentils I already stated, these are a couple of my favorites:
- To make a robust filling for vegetarian tacos, sauté cooked French green lentils with garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Similarly, for added crunch, you may also include a few chopped walnuts.
- Put them in the saucepan with the broth in place of the chickpeas in my multi-vegetable soup.
- For more protein, combine them with a straightforward vegetable spaghetti.
- Use them in a Moroccan-flavored salad, such as the Roasted and Raw Carrot salads.
- Make a protein-rich vegetarian main dish with them by stuffing vegetables, like the Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant on page 179 of Love and Lemons Every Day. Or, stuff them into a warm baked sweet potato!
- Make homemade falafel with them!
Do you have a favorite recipe with lentils? Comment below and let me know!
This is how I usually prepare lentils. Try the tangy marinade once they are cooked; they’re wonderful and ready to be tossed into salads or bowls.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1 cup uncooked French green or black lentils
- pot of water
LEMON-HERB DRESSING, OPTIONAL
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- pinches of red pepper flakes, optional
- Cook them: They are prepared by boiling water and together in a medium saucepan. Until the vegetables are soft but not mushy, simmer for 17 to 20 minutes with the lid on, the heat down, and occasional stirring. After that, remove any extra water, then let it cool.
- Prepare the lemon-herb dressing: To a medium bowl, add the cooked lentils. Add the salt, mustard, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir in parsley and red pepper flakes, if used. As a side dish or for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
*2 1/2 cups of cooked lentils are produced.