To me, lentils are a pantry hero. Possibly even a superhero. I can't count the number of times I've come home, tired and feeling "bleh," a corner of my mind nudging me sneakily to give in and order takeout even though I'd made myself a promise to cook more often. I open the fridge looking for inspiration—nothing. I turn to the pantry and find—dun dun dun DUNNN—lentils!
I always make sure to stay stocked with a variety of these versatile pulses for just these times of desperation and hunger. Lentils cook quickly—much more quickly than beans, though we love them dearly—are a good source of protein, super affordable, and keep well (dried) for up to a year. Black beluga lentils become garlic-infused Sephardic megedarra, red split lentils cook up in a flash to make a smooth, home-y dal, and French green lentils (sometimes called 'Le Puy' lentils) are an excellent backbone for a smooth, curried soup or a portable, packable salad.
Rustle up a bag of lentils from your pantry (or go stock up), then try one of these 23 recipes on for size.
bulked-up lentil salads
rib-sticking soups & stews
and everything else!
How do you put lentils to work in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments!