Lentils are an affordable, delicious, and incredibly nutritious food and store very well in the pantry. As they are 26% protein and can be combined with rice or other grains to create a plant-based complete protein meal, vegetarians and vegans (who’d want to replace the chicken stock used below with vegetable stock) should definately consider adding these old-world wonders to their diet.
Like our previous post about cooking rice using the pilaf method, this post is merely a suggested improvement to the basic method for cooking rice and lentils: boiling them until tender. This basic recipe will work for all of our bulk lentils, with the amount of chicken stock, cooking time, and resulting amount of food varying depending on the lentil variety used (see product descriptions for specific information on each lentil type).
½ cup onion finely diced
¼ cup leek finely diced
¼ cup carrot finely diced
2 cups lentils (beluga lentils depicted)
~ 2 pints chicken stock or broth
Butter (optional), lemon juice, salt and pepper to season at the end
1. Heat oil in a saucepan, add the onion, and sweat it for a minute or two, then add carrot and sweat for a minute or two, followed by the leek.
2. Add the lentils, and stir to coat them with the oil.
3. Turn up the heat and pour in the stock. Bring the stock to a simmer.
4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, let cook until the lentils are tender.
We used black beluga lentils for these photos, but if you wanted a different color on your plate you could use classic French green lentils, brown Spanish pardina lentils (which also have a nutty flavor), or fast-cooking red chief lentils.