Soup may be the most common use for lentils in Western kitchens, but there are many other ways to use this nutritious legume, from main dishes to (believe it or not) dessert.
Hounds love lentil salads, such as this lentil salad with balsamic vinaigrette and red lentil salad with feta and beets. “I make this warm lentil salad with lardons all the time,” says aching. “Sometimes I top it with poached eggs. Other times Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or chèvre. It’s pretty fabulous!”
Many hounds consider mujadara, a Middle Eastern dish of cooked lentils and rice seasoned with cumin and cinnamon and mixed with caramelized onions, a comfort food. “It doesn’t get better or more simple,” says TorontoJo. “So tasty!” toveggiegirl likes another Middle Eastern lentil dish, vegetarian kofte.
alanbarnes makes lentil patties by sautéing finely chopped onions and garlic, mixing with cooked lentils and seasonings such as parsley, cumin, and chiles, mashing lightly, and adding stock and breadcrumbs. Form into patties, dredge in flour or breadcrumbs, and cook in a skillet. Serve on a bun with your favorite fixings.
Lentils can even up the nutrition of sweets without compromising their flavor. “Alton Brown has a recipe for lentil cookies that’s so good you won’t believe it’s healthy (well, as healthy as it can be with the sugar and fat),” says alanbarnes. And ipsedixit uses puréed lentils in place of oil in banana and zucchini breads. “It’s a good way to sneak in lentils in your diet without really, well, sneaking it in,” he says.