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.
How do you put lentils to work in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).Order now