I started thinking how often I eat lentils in Chicago after reading a newsletter my friend Taylor Miller wrote about how often lentils were served during her visit to Turkey. (I think she said it was Turkey.) Plus, lentils, are jam packed with vitamins, good for digestion, weight loss, fiber, protein. They rock, plus they taste amazing.
Most weeks I am cooking lentils, especially since I am excited about a tasty lentil stew, ( a fall/winter favorite) it is quick, easy and yummy. But it’s summer, too hot for lentil stew. I still want to eat them, I started getting ready to make them, soaking them overnight, even though I don’t have too, I think they taste better. I began looking for ways to cook them that didn’t involve me standing over my stove. Last night I found this quick cooking method I wanted to share with you, super easy and so… good! The lentils were cooked in the time it took me to make my breakfast, eat it and do the dishes.
To my beans I added 3 whole cloves of garlic, cumin and later added curry. I then created a lentil salad from some of the veggies in my fridge. I look forward to hear what you create and if you are as excited as I am at how amazing they taste!
Posted by Emily Ho: How To Cook Lentils on the Stovetop Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
What You Need
1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
2 cups water
1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon salt
Strainer or colander
Any amount of lentils can be cooked in this manner. Just maintain the 2:1 ratio of water to lentils described below.
1. Wash Lentils: Measure the lentils into a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
2. Combine Lentils and Water: Transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the water. Add any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
4. Cook the Lentils: Bring the water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubble and some slight movement in the lentils. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
5. Salt the Lentils: Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy. Older lentils may take longer to cook and shed their outer skins as they cook. Strain the lentils and remove any seasonings. Return the lentils to the pan and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Taste and add additional salt as needed.
6. Seasoning and Using Cooked Lentils: Cooked lentils will keep refrigerated for about a week. Season them with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, fresh herbs, and eat them on their own. Lentils can also be added to soups, salads, or other recipes.
Emily Ho is a writer and recipe developer. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network.
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