Lemon Lentils

Lemon-LentilsAutumn ~ the automatic trigger for my tummy to crave comfort food. Ordinarily, that means mashed potatoes or mac n’ cheese, but the ol’ hippie in me decided to cook lentils with lemon. Larry scarfed them down, and he doesn’t have an ounce of hippie in him.

Lentils are legumes. Cheap eats. No soaking. Nutritional punch. For a complete protein meal, dish over brown rice. Sound good? Larry and I actually REGRETTED not thinking to make rice that night for dinner.

Besides being a throwback to college days, Lemon Lentils also taste like “vacation” to me. Lentils (thankfully) show up on menus in places where the food is not so good, like Egypt and Kenya. With a splash of lemon and proper seasoning, their flavor is fantastic. I made four portions; we ate three between us for dinner and I couldn’t wait to grab the fourth the next day for lunch. Didn’t wait, I ate ‘em for breakfast.

Lemon Lentils

  • 1/2 cup shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 cups dried lentils
  • 2 14-oz. cans or 4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

In a medium pot, sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in cumin and cook about 30 seconds longer. Add lentils, broth, water, bay leaves and lemon zest, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour or until lentils easily mash between your fingers. Remove bay leaves, stir in lemon juice. Then, with an immersion blender, puree for about 30 seconds or until lentils are slightly creamed but still have lumps (you can also do this in a blender or with a potato masher). Let sit a few minutes to soak up liquid, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

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