Oh, lentils! Where have you been?
I always forget about lentils until winter rolls around, and I start craving hearty, one-pot meals. I’ll be walking down the dried bean aisle at the grocery store, and then I see them, right beside the bags of 15-bean soup. It’s like a new discovery every time January arrives.
I don’t know why I don’t keep them in the pantry all year long. They cook quickly, and best of all, they’re one of the most nutritious legumes around. One cup of cooked lentils has 17 grams of protein!
This recipe is super easy, and you can use any variety of lentil you like. The brown ones are the easiest to find. They’re earthy and easy on the palette, but don’t cook them too long or they’ll get mushy. Puy or French green lentils are another variety, and they’re known for their peppery flavor and firmness. That’s why they are great for salads. Red lentils are used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Also mild, they are a bit sweeter and turn golden once they’re cooked.
Daniel House Lentils
- 2 cups of brown lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence
- ¼ cup apple-cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup broth from the lentils
- 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
- Black pepper
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil and add onion, carrot and celery. Cook on medium high until the vegetables get a little color on them. Turn down to medium and add the lentils, stirring to combine.
- Add the six cups of water, garlic, bay leaves and dried herbs. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to taste, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked through. Taste them and add more salt if necessary. Remove the bay leaf.
- In a small bowl mix together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste and olive oil. Set aside.
- Strain the lentils into a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the broth. Return lentils to the pot. Whisk the saved broth into the dressing, then stir the dressing into lentils.
- Serve alone, or over rice.
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