What is a lentil?
A vegetarian's friend, lentils are petite legume seeds that come whole or split in a variety of colors. Popular throughout the world, brown European lentils are the most common, if not the most delicious, variety. Because they tend to grow mushy when cooked, they are often used as a base for lentil soup.
The dark green-blue lentilles vertes du Puy are considered by many the apex of lentildom. These French lentils hold their shape and have a richer texture than common European lentils. Smaller and rounder orange (or red or yellow) lentils are more widely used in Asian cuisines.
Lentils are used in soups, stews and the Indian dish known as dal. Lentils eaten with rice are a common meat substitute in India, as they contain high amounts of protein as well as iron, phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A and B. The French, on the other hand, like to pair lentils with smoked pork sausage or bacon lardons.
Recipe: Lentil Salad With Garlic Vinaigrette
Recipe: Quickish Country Lentil Soup (Hogwash)
Recipe: Lentils Crostini With Ricotta And Basil