Lentils are super nutritious legumes that sometimes take a backseat to beans because they’re not always as readily available and aren’t sold precooked in cans like many beans are.
But, unlike most dried beans, lentils don’t need to be soaked overnight before using and they cook up quickly. In fact, when making lentils, the key is to not overcook them.
Lentils have a high-level nutrition profile. Green, red, black, yellow or brown, they’re rich in protein, minerals and fiber. They can be used in many tasty ways and in a variety of cuisines from Indian dals to French lentil salads.
The following recipe uses sweet and spicy peppadews, a small South African pepper found in the pickle aisle or the olive section of many grocery stores. As an alternative, use roasted red peppers instead.
Sweet and Tangy Lentils
- 1 cup dry lentils, brown, green or red
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup roasted peppadew or red bell peppers, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Place lentils in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes for brown or green lentils, five to 15 minutes for red lentils.
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the scallions, cooking two to three minutes until they soften.
Add the cooked lentils, salt and pepper, stirring well. Add peppers, lemon zest and juice, and toss to coat.
Turn the heat off and sprinkle with feta and parsley. Serve immediately.
Yield: 2 main dish or 4 side dish servings
Lentils.org has more on the benefits of lentils and how to cook with them.