You may be just as un-enthused about lentils as I was, but this recipe has converted me. It’s really good with curries, lamb, chicken or fish or as a salad on its own. Toss it with some leftover brown basmati rice and you have lunch.
Lentils are quick-cooking legumes, densely nutritious and are an inexpensive way to power up your meals. I use the to sub out for ground meat in some recipes, like chili or Shepard's pie. Tossing a handful of soaked whole lentils or split lentils adds body to soups and stews. Their fiber helps balance blood sugar while making us feel satisfied and full for a long period, making lentil-enriched dishes smart for sustained energy and weight management.
To cook the lentils:
1 cup dry lentils- puy lentils are choice because they hold their shape the best. You can also also use beluga or green/ green- brown lentils.
1.5 liters water or veg stock
(If using veg stock, you can omit the following...)
Stock veg (use only if you are not using vegetable stock as the cooking liquid. This just adds flavour as you cook.)
- 1/2 carrot, halved
- 1/2 onion, halved
- 1 clove of garlic, whole
- 1 bay leaf
For the salad:
½ a red or yellow pepper, diced small
1 carrot, small dice or grated
1 onion, small dice
1 stock celery, small dice
½ cup chopped parsley
The juice and zest*of 1 orange, 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime ( Or omit one orange and add ½ a grapefruit and zest to the mix)
2 big glugs of nice olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Soak the lentils for at least 2 hours. Skim off the floaty bits and drain.
Simmer lentils with stock veg and water or in vegetable stock until slightly soft (about 20-30 minutes). Skim any scum that rises as lentils cook.
Do NOT overcook- the lentils should be soft but still held together.
While lentils cook, zest and juice the citrus, dice the veggies.
Drain (and pull out carrot, onion etc if using aromatics. Discard these veggies.) any excess liquid.
In a pot, sweat the pepper, carrot, celery and onion in a little olive oil.( this means just cook on low heat to soften and sweeten the veggies.) Add these to the bowl with your juice, zest and olive oil.
Add the cooked lentils to the bowl with the veggies and citrus dressing while they are still hot. They will absorb most of the citrus juice this way.
Add parsley salt and taste.
Can be served either warm or cold and keeps in the fridge for a good few days.