11 January 2010

Green Lentils

verde lenticchie
green lentils

I have been searching for green lentils, affordable green lentils, forever. I have only found them twice in the last couple of years and both times resisted buying them because they were $5 a pound and when you are staring at the plain old ordinary brown lentils for around $1 a pound...I am afraid the less exotic variety wins out.

Recently we went on our annual pre-Christmas specialty grocery store shop and when I spotted those expensive green lentils on the shelf I threw them into the basket so fast your head would spin, you see I was feeling rather flush with my Neiman Marcus holiday pay in hand.

I knew that once I tasted the difference that there would be no turning back...and I was right!

My first taste of French green lentils was of course in France. They provided a luscious base for a mixed grill of baby goat..another thing I am not likely to find anytime soon.

The other night while trying to come up with a good alternative to potatoes, rice or pasta (husband is on the no carbs kick again) I decided that green lentils were the perfect match for a lamb stew.

I consulted my new kitchen bible:

French Provincial Cooking
Elizabeth David

Her basic recipe is very simple...soaking the lentils for an hour helps but is not necessary.

For 1/2 pound of lentils
Cover with water and soak for one hour
Drain and put into a saucepan
Add 2 1/2 cups water
Bring to boil
Simmer for 1 hour 15 min or until tender

At this point you can use your imagination. She suggests adding a cup of stock and continue to simmer until it is absorbed. I added a bit of pan drippings left from sauteing the lamb along with some beef stock. She also suggests serving with the French classic, Maitre D'Hotel Butter, which is basically 2 oz of butter that has been worked together with 1 T of finely chopped parsley and a few drops of lemon juice. This can be made a head and kept chilled.

assolutamente delizioso!
absolutely delicious!

The next night I used the left over lentils as a side for roasted Italian sausage and sauteed rapini with garlic, once again adding the pan juices from the sausage to liven the lentils.


The taste of green lentils is not quite as earthy as brown lentils, a bit fresher tasting and worth every penny spent!

Lentils are my new food passion...do you have any recipes to share?


sophie said...

Green lentils sound lovely . . . I think I might have to find some now ;-)

Two of my favorite recipes with lentils are Moroccan Lentil Salad and Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup. Bon appetit!

artnavy said...

green lentils can be sprouted and make a lovely salad with lime and salt

they can be soaked and ground to a paste with a table spoon of bit of soaked rice and a slice of ginger as well.

grind it slightly thinner than pancake batter- make into thin pancakes on a flat pan with some butter - we call them pesarettu or childa in India- really yummy!! do try it.