I love lentils. They’re cheap, easy to prepare, adaptable to most cuisines and good for you. What could be better? Oh, and they’re good served hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Yum!
In the winter I like to make a simple, but fragrant lentil soup: start the lentils cooking, then add chopped onion, garlic if I have it, chopped carrots, some lardons (kind of like chopped up fatty bacon), celery if it hasn’t gone bad, and maybe a potato or two. Served with rustic, crusty French bread (possibly the best thing about living in France is the bread), it makes a delicious dinner- and wonderful lunch the next day.
Summer time, my favorite lentil dish is cold lentils with a mustard & red wine vinegar sauce. I love the simplicity of it!
Here are some of my favorite lentil dishes:
- Bengali Dhal
- Lentil Loaf (my mother used to make something like this when I was little)
- Middle Eastern Lentils with Tomatoes
- Armenian Lentils (I told you that lentils are multi-cultural)
The above recipes are from All Recipes. The following are from the fabulous Smitten Kitchen, who is my go-to-food goddess.
- Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes
- Squash Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese (Swoon. I love this dish.)
I think sometimes that the most frugal foods are the most adaptable. Not only are they the base ingredient for many different cultural culinary traditions, but they’re like sponges that soak up flavor. I mean, really- fois gras always tastes about the same, no matter how you prepare it, but lentils (or potatoes, or rice, or pasta, or, or, or…). Yum!
Unfortunately for me, despite my best efforts, my husband is not a fan of lentils, due to too many bland school lunch plates adorned with an overly-watery, under-seasoned, canned version of the stuff. My kids love it, however, and so he’s just learned to groan whenever I serve him lentils and fill up on bread and cheese…which isn’t such a cross to bear if you think about it!
Lentils: love ‘em or leave ‘em? What’s your favorite lentil dish?