black pearls of deliciousness

Lentils have made a serious comeback in the last year or so. Okay, maybe not a kale-style comeback, but a comeback, nonetheless. I don’t want to turn you off from lentils by telling you this, but lentils are pretty darned good for you. Lentils health benefits include being a good source of soluble fiber and protein, along with being a great source of folate and magnesium. The beauty of black lentils is that they have a nuttier taste than regular legumes, plus their black coloring is thanks to anthocyanins, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Black Lentils are not the easiest thing to find, at least where I live, but I consistently find mine now at Bushel and Peck’s, in Beloit, WI.

Lentils are a member of the legume family but here’s the real beauty: you don’t need to soak lentils before cooking them. This makes them an easy and healthy side (or main, depending on how you prepare them) dish to compliment a quick meal. You can change this recipe up by adding different veggies, just keep the cooking of everything to a minimum, so you don’t end up with mushy veggies and lentils. If you’ve ever wondered how to cook lentils, this recipe is a great way to start.

how-to-cook-black-lentils-recipe-lola-rugula

Black lentils are also called Beluga lentils, due to their resemblance to the much pricier and brinier Beluga caviar. But here’s another bonus: black lentils are much, much cheaper. Do I have you loving these little black pearls yet?

braised black lentils with garlic, carrots, celery and herbs recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced or diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • pinch fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 cup black (beluga) lentils
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Heat olive oil in a medium-sized sauce pan, over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery and cook just until onions begin to become translucent and carrots begin to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add thyme and lentils and stir well, to coat lentils. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock, salt and pepper and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs. Remove from heat, remove lid, let sit about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

You don’t want to over-stir these once the lentils have cooked, or you’ll end up mushing them up, which isn’t very attractive. (But they’re still delicious!)

how-to-cook-black-lentils-recipe-lola-rugulaI really hope this post inspires you to try black lentils. They really are easy and delicious and this is a very easy black lentil recipe to prepare for a weeknight dinner.

how-to-cook-black-lentils-recipe-lola-rugulaI made these the other night as a side to Moroccan-spiced duck breast and braised leeks and they were a perfect, nutty foil to the richness of the duck breast.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and never, ever be afraid to play with your food. This recipe is also great cold, as a side salad. Just add the fresh herbs after you’ve removed the lentils from the heat, so you get the real “fresh herb” flavor.

24 thoughts on “black pearls of deliciousness

  1. Sounds great but I’m battling to get black lentils here in South Africa. Have no idea why. Working on it. It all looks so good.

  2. Lentils are a regular here. This recipe looks delicious. We usually have them quite highly spiced as dal but we need to try some other styles too 🙂

  3. Love the title you chose for this post – lentils really are little gems of goodness! I readiscovered them for myself only a few years ago and now cannot get enough of them. This recipe looks lovely!

    • Thank you, Afra! I’ll admit that black lentils have been a bit of a struggle for me to find, at times, but I’m glad to hear you love them too! I’m still working my way through your recipes, because I think you do lovely things with spices and ingredients!

        • Thank YOU for using such wonderful ingredients in your recipes…it’s always great to connect with someone who has such an appreciation for real food! I’ve updated this post for my local followers, so they know where I purchased my black lentils – I agree that it’s a shame they’re not more popular than they are. I think they’re making a comeback though, so I’m trying to help with the lentil movement. 🙂

  4. Ooo I love lentil Lola, although I’ve never tried black ones, I will look to see if I can find some. Thanks for the recipe it looks delicious!

  5. You’re right! Lentils have made a comeback! On Friday my husband and I went out for dinner (YAY!) and one of the specials was a pork stew with lentils. I almost ordered it but caved in when I saw seared flounder. I’m a sucker for anything that swims in the ocean that I don’t have to cook.

    • I’d have definitely gone with the seared flounder, too! Pork stew with lentils sounds good and all, but not what I’d typically choose on a dinner-out night!

  6. I’m so glad someone else shares my love of lentils!! I’m OBSESSED with them! I use them to make burgers, “meat” balls, “meat” loaf, you name it. I just happened upon your blog and thank you for giving them the credit they deserve. Looking forward to reading more from you! Feel free to check out my blog anytime, I write about how to live organically on a budget.

It's always nice to hear your comments...