For the love of lentils

Joined Jul 31, 2000
I did this wacky lentil dish a couple weeks ago that turned out pretty good.

I used orange lentils that I cooked in a shallot/curry broth, I then cooled the lentils,and leached some eggplant rounds, then breaded them with a pinenut crust and sauteed them, and then lightly cooked baby spinach with some nutmeg and lemon zest.

I cooled everything down and layered individual souffle mold with raw tuna and the rest of the ingredients and baked them in a hot oven for 15 minutes and then turned them out on a plate with a roasted garlic/tomato coulis with crumbled feta..Wacky I know :D

I really love lentils and now with the availibility of so many varieties, I was wondering how you like to cook them (or eat them)
Joined May 26, 2001
Every time I cook red lentils, I end up with a puree. Delicious, but not the texture I wanted. How long should I be cooking them? (I also use a curry broth, with lots of ginger and ground fenugreek.)
Joined Jul 31, 2000

Orange,red, black and white lentils I bring to a boil for FIVE minutes, cover and let sit for 10 minutes then very gently strain and rinse.

I kind of treat them like split peas..very quick cooking time
Joined Mar 17, 2001
this is soooo 'moreish' as we say in Britain, if you've had one pile of it you just want more:

Soften onion, carrot, celery, garlic; add mixture of flavoursome mushrooms including plenty of (soaked) dried porcini* (I usually fry them a little first)

Add puy lentils, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, puree, plenty of red wine, stock, *mushroom liquor, salt & pepper. Boil, simmer for 40 mins.

It's great with mashed potato.

It's been the most popular thing in my repertoire for a long while and it's very easy.

If you make it or know something similar, I'd be interested in your thoughts. I've never managed to make it as well as I did the first time, maybe it was just the surprise!

Joined Feb 6, 2002
As CC said Suzanne, you have to treat lentils like split doesn't take that long to cook em. Remember the first time I cooked em and ended up with soup. :blush: I can laugh now but I was trying to impress my mom at the time. :)


Im cooking dinner in a few minutes and you now have me looking at my lentils in a whole new way. The grin on my face is spreading. Gotta go cook. Thanks for the idea. Serving it with Chicken Breasts. (my babies are on a chicken stint now :rolleyes: ) At least they are off the hotdog thing. Ick!

Joined Nov 29, 2001
Haven't seen you - thought you might be off making a baby or something!

Hubby is Armenian so he loves lentils and I'm Italian, so I do too. I like to make pilafs with them. I understand about the "turning into puree" situation - I think that happens when the orange lentils are used in soup. I prefer regular green lentils for soup. When we were kids, my mom made the best lentil soup. She would cut up hot dogs (we didn't have much $) and put them in. She'd get good dogs like Hebrew National (no crap in 'em) and they were garlicky and lent a great flavor to the soup.

I made a pilaf trying to use the last bits from all the jars of grains I have so I don't have to lug them to FL. I used orange lentils, burghur and a bit of quinoa. I chopped aromatics and red peppers and plum tomatoes and whatever the he11 else I could find in the fridge ;) and took a guess at the liquid. It came out great. He went back for seconds (a rarity).
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Hey Chiff
Ive been around. My due date got changed due to an Ultrasound. Instead of the 20th of June. Im due NEXT week! :eek:

I almost lost my lentils just now. Total power outage for 10 minutes. Id like to offer all some batteries for your flashlights. You don't wanna try to find two kids with the light from your laptop. Not fun!

BTW: Ive never tried lentil soup with hot dogs. Never thought of it. I make it with either ham hocks, a ham bone or bacon. Yum!

Joined Jan 11, 2002
Being an Indian cooking lover, my favourite way to cook lentils are of course Dals...but since I don't want to be considered a traitor, have to add that my favourite Italian recipe are stewed lentils with Cotechino.

I make a "soffritto" with chopped Pancetta, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and herbs (usually rosemary, bay leaves and juniper) then add the soaked lentils, fry a while, season with S&P, cover with hot water and simmer until the lentils are cooked but still firm. Adding some concentrated tomato or red wine is an optional.

This recipe, which seems having a lot in common with the Plum's one, is usually served with boiled Cotechino or Zampone, mashed potatoes and Mostarda di Cremona, making a typical Northern Italian New Year's Eve meal (not just a light one...and maybe this is not the right time to post it:D )

To tell the truth, when having a New Year's Party I like more cooking fish...but since in Italy you CANNOT forget lentils on December 31st (they're supposed to bring good luck and money) and since most people turn up their noses if you serve lentils with fish, I am forced to add to my meal this burden (a delicious one, however:) )

Joined Mar 3, 2002
My favorite way of making lentils is as a "salad." I do them differently each time, so there's no specific recipe as such. I cook them til they're barely tender and still hold their shape, usually flavoring the water with an assortment of herbs & spices, a little vinegar in the water. Then I drain them completely, season with vinegar & oil and whatever else takes my fancy. Cumin and caraway often are in some part of the process. They're wonderful to have in the the fridge in the summer and can readily form part of a larger salad.

This is also good with a whole variety of beans.

In the summer I like to keep ready to eat beans (or lentils) and rice (pref basmati or jasmine) on hand. Then when ready to eat them, mix them up keeping the rice in small clumps, garnish with chunks of tomatoes, sweet peppers of many colors, scallions, or whatever veggies take your fancy, herbs, vinegar and oil. When made with black beans this makes an attractive buffet or outdoor grill side dish.
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