Maybe that's a weird thing to say about this little legume. But it's true. I like the taste and the funny texture.
It's rare to find a food that's cheap, filling, healthy, and tasty, but lentils are all of those.
Dried lentils, like dried beans, are incredibly inexpensive, but they don't require soaking or long cooking times the way their bigger cousins do. So while I have a balance of cheap dried beans and more expensive, convenient canned beans in my pantry, with lentils I just buy dried.
I confess I've been in a bit of a rut cooking lentils, however. I add them to soups and stews to thicken them up, make them more filling and meaty without actually adding more meat. But I rarely do anything else with them.
At five o'clock yesterday afternoon, I had no meat defrosted, the thermometer read100 degrees, and a hungry DDH who needed leftovers for lunch the next day.
A quick perusal of the internets yielded an idea or two, which led to this: a summery cool vegetarian meal that even the DDH enjoyed.
|Lemony Lentil Salad.|
Lemony Lentil Salad
Lentils roughly double in volume when cooked. I wanted about three cups cooked lentils, so I measured out 1 1/2 cups dried lentils. This would be an easy recipe to double (or halve) to serve to a crowd (or just yourself).
|Rinsing--check for stones and grit.|
|You should have way more water than in this picture. I|
just barely covered the lentils and had to add more water
|See how much the lentils have risen?|
In a small bowl or a handy shaker thing like I have, add 1/3 cup lemon juice (a bit more than one lemon, unless your lemon is pretty big and juicy). (Tip: Squeeze two (or more) lemons, measure out the juice you need, and pour the rest into an ice cube tray. Freeze and pop out into a labeled bag; pull out whenever you need fresh lemon juice. The lemon juice I'm using is actually frozen leftover lemon juice rather than true fresh juice.)
|Dill from the garden.|
1/4 teaspoon salt. Add more to taste.
Black pepper to taste.
|Mustard, salt, pepper.|
At some point in here your lentils will finish cooking. Drain the lentils and put into a large bowl.
|Summer tomatoes for the win.|
|Mix well. Some will pool at the bottom, but you want|
to make sure everything is coated.
|Delicious and nutritious!|
We ate it room temperature last night and chilled for lunch today. I loved it. So good.
And the DDH? We all know that vegetarian recipes have to garner his approval if I want to make them again for general consumption. Luckily, he likes lentils (though not raw onion, oops), and lentils are filling and chewy enough to make up for meat. He ate a big bowl and expressed his approval (except for the raw onions). Success!