Friday, June 14, 2013

The Wonder Lentil – June 14, 2013

I never had a lentil until I reached adulthood and became intrigued by Indian cuisine.  It all started with a book and ingredients that came as a kit produced by film star and chef Madhur Jaffrey.  This book introduced me to all the basics and is where I learned that Indians have lentils with every meal to help with digestion.  I include the lovely salmon colored lentils with all my Indian meals as well, but I admit I prefer a thicker recipe I found in a Martha Stewart cookbook. 

Later, I started to buy French lentils, both brown and green.  I just happened to have a half open bag in my cabinet last weekend and decided to try a new recipe from Bon Appetite.  I served it at a party with pita and veggies, but later I had it on a baguette with the first summer tomato and it was wonderful.

Green Lentil Spread

1 head garlic (perfect time, they are just ripening!)
1 T plus ½ c. good olive oil
½ c. chopped shallot
2 T. finely chopped carrot
1 T. Penzy’s Sunny Paris seasoning or thyme and tarragon to make 1 T.
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. green French lentils
½ c. dry white wine
2 c. + more veggie or chicken broth
2 T. lemon juice

Roast garlic head in oven at 375 degrees until soft.  When cool, squeeze out soft garlic into blender.  In heavy pan, sauté shallot, carrot and seasonings in 1 T. oil.  Add lentils and stir 2 minutes.  Add wine and cook until absorbed.  Add 2 c. broth and bring to boil.  Then lower heat and cook about 30 minutes until soft.  Add broth as needed.  Blend lentils with garlic, lemon juice and ½ c. oil.  Adjust to taste.  This is great served as a hummus or as a spread on sandwiches.

My other favorite recipe for the French lentil is Lentil Salad.  It is great made ahead for a hot summer evening.

Lentil and Feta Salad

3 c. water
1 c. rinsed lentils
1 halved onion
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. chopped parsley
3 T. chopped mint
1 chopped garlic clove
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ c. crumbled feta

Combine water, lentils, onion and salt.  Cover and heat over medium until boiling.  Reduce to low and cook 30 minutes.  Drain and discard onion.  Add remaining ingredients except cheese and mix.  Top with feta and chill.

One year ago – Anchovy and Garlic Dip and garlic Scape Frittata

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I love that lentil spread. I have thought of it many times since having it at your house last week. Scrumptious!