Put lentils and water in a saucepan, add salt, bring to boil, and cook for 45 minutes.
I’ll admit, I’m not the world’s best cook, I didn’t grow up surrounded by cooks – but I can sure tell you when I’ve managed to cook something wrong!
Peas, beans, whole grains, and lentils are supposed to be good for you. So I blundered ahead and made lentil mush.
Hmmm… definitely not doing this right!
Here are some details I forgot to consider:
- Do not soak lentils before cooking.
- Bring the water to a boil, then add lentils, and reduce the heat to low. Slowly simmer them. Start your timing when you’ve added them.
- DO NOT add salt to cooking water; salt toughens lentils as they cook. Salt when the lentils have cooked.
- Cooking times are specific to the variety and processing of the lentils. Cooking time also varies with the age of the lentil; fresher lentils have more moisture.
- Add a squeeze of lemon or a teaspoon of vinegar after cooking, but before draining. It will liven up the flavor.
|Variety of Lentil||Cooking Time||Recommended Use|
|Yellow Lentils – bright yellow skinless lentils||10 minutes||Dips, soups, and baked goods, not recommended for long-simmering stews, casseroles, or clear soups.|
|Red Lentils – bright red or pink skinless lentils||10 minutes||Well-suited for Mid-Eastern and Asian cuisine, good for purees, does not hold its shape if overcooked.|
|Du Puy Lentils||30 minutes||Broth-based, herb soups and gently flavored hot or cold salads.|
|Green Lentils||30-35 minutes||Good Choice for chili, baked dishes, stews and hearty soups.|
|Pardina (Spanish Brown) Lentils||30 minutes||Distinctive nutty flavor, perfect for salads and soups that will be reheated.|
|Black Lentils – tiny black lentils||20 minutes||Mild flavor for delicately spiced soups and salads, use as a side dish with fish or chicken|
Where to buy
Timeless Natural Foods, Ulm MT, or ask for Timeless Natural Foods organic peas, lentils, and grains at your natural foods market.