Lentils on a hot day - need inspiration

I'm just learning to love lentils. I cook up some dry lentils every weekend, and add them to everything from pasta sauce to bread. I love it.

But it's too hot to cook this week, and I have a big bowl of lonely cooked lentils in my fridge.

What can I do with the lentils that doesn't involve warmth, or very little? Do people even eat lentils cold? I don't even know what kind of keywords to start searching with. I don't want the lentils to go bad but no room in the freezer.

Surely this is an opportunity to learn a new way to enjoy lentils? Please inspire me.

  • 1402 views
  • 21 Comments

15 Comments

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
ljhutchins
ljhutchins July 30, 2014

I eat this lentil & potato salad at least once a week. They are great at room temperature.
http://smittenkitchen.com...

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Stephanie G
Stephanie G July 30, 2014

I love lentil salads. You could dress your lentils wwith a sherry vinaigrette and add some chopped apples and sauteed shallots. Top with some yummy cheese.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese July 30, 2014

Wow, salad?!? Never imagined lentils in salad before, level on AS THE salad. That sounds amazing! Apples are just coming ripe now too. Kind of a noob question I know, but any recommendations on how one makes a vinaigrette? I'm off to search for info, but if you have suggestions on how to make one that goes extra yummy with lentils, please let me know.

Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard July 30, 2014

One more vote for salad, I love this one: https://food52.com/recipes...

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese July 30, 2014

mmm, that looks good. Wrong season for kale right now, but might be able to manage some baby beet greens. Any suggestions on a substitute for apricot preserve?

Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard July 30, 2014

One of the only good things about an extremely cool summer in my neck of the woods is a surprising amount of kale at the market, but I digress -- I agree that it would be just as nice with other sturdy greens. Whenever I'm out of apricot preserves (I buy it solely to have on hand for this salad), I just go with a basic vinaigrette: https://food52.com/blog...

trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese July 30, 2014

Great ideas. Keep them coming. I have lots of lentils and anything I don't try this week, I can next week.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Pegeen
Pegeen July 30, 2014

I hear you about it being too hot to cook. My diet today has been 3 Edy’s lime popsicles. I may add a Pimm’s Cup cocktail later to be sure I’ve gotten some vegetables today.

Lentil salads are an all-time favorite. Some of these specify DePuy French lentils, but I wouldn’t be concerned if yours are not French lentils.

French lentil salad (cold) with goat cheese and walnuts by David Lebovitz
http://www.splendidtable...
Since your lentils are already cooked, to avoid turning on the stove, you could just microwave the carrot, onion and celery until just tender. Throw the bay leaf and thyme in with them if you like. When vegetables are cool, strain and toss with lentils to combine, add vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Warm Lentil Salad with Balsamic Roast Squash by Martha Shulman (NY Times)
http://well.blogs.nytimes...
Just serve at room temp and if you can stand it, grill some zucchini or yellow squash outside on the grill, as a substitute for the autumn squash

Mediterranean Lentil Salad by Mollie Katzen
http://www.molliekatzen.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipe=lentil_salad

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese July 30, 2014

This is how hot it is: When reading the bit about French Lentils, I was wondering how to tell what language my lentils are. Perhaps if I put the radio to the Frankiphone channel and if they responded... Then I realized that was a silly idea... because I wouldn't be able to understand what the lentils were saying if they spoke french. (going to go consume another litre of water and a handful of salt until I become sane again). The lentils I have right now are locally grown and say 'red lentils' on the bag. They cooked up much faster but less mushy than brown ones. Also, do you think pumpkin qualifies as autumn squash? They are just coming ripe now too - everything's early this year except tomatoes.

Pegeen
Pegeen July 30, 2014

Hot to Make a Vinaigrette Without a Recipe (Food52 article)
https://food52.com/blog...

p.s. love your username :-)

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Pegeen
Pegeen July 30, 2014

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta & Tahini
(from Smitten Kitchen but based on April Bloomfield's recipe, from the cookbook "A Girl and Her Pig")
http://smittenkitchen.com...

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese July 30, 2014

I think it was hunger, not heat that had addled my brain.

Made my first attempt at vinaigrette - it was...um...different. I obviously need more practice. Apples, lentils, raisins... Pretty tasty, or it will be once I get the dressing down pat.

Keep the recipe ideas coming.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
cookinginvictoria
cookinginvictoria July 30, 2014

Great thread . . . I love Gena's lentil, apricot jam and kale salad that Lindsay-Jean cites. Also, Pegeen's suggestion of the lentil and chickpea salad with feta and tahini by April Bloomfield via the Smitten Kitchen is wonderful.

One more thought. https://food52.com/recipes... I have made this salad with already cooked lentils. It is delicious served at room temperature. Ingredients can be slightly mixed and matched (for example, I have used arugula in place of spinach and mint in place of basil), but it is the yogurt/olive oil dressing that, in my opinion, really makes this dish sing.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Sam1148
Sam1148 July 30, 2014

Use them instead of bulgar wheat in a Tabbouleh salad. Chopped parsley and mint, lentils, chopped tomato. (cube some cucumber there to pare with pegreen's Pimms cup)..
Dress the salad with lemon, juice, garlic and olive oil. (discard garlic after it flavors the dressing--no chunks).
Add feta cheese before serving.

and for 'to hot to cook'...grill up some flat bread...and put on hummus and grilled tomatoes. Served with the lentils and hummus, the salad could be on the flat bread.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Pegeen
Pegeen August 2, 2014

Excellent. Thank you so much. Guests loved it.

Stephanie G
Stephanie G July 31, 2014

The sherry vinaigrette I use is Deborah Madison's. It's a clove of garlic pounded with salt. Add 1 1/2 tbs sherry vinegar, 1tsp Dijon mustard, & 6 tbs olive oil. Hope you enjoy! Sherry vinegar is wonderful!

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
C.Nielsen
C.Nielsen July 31, 2014

Pickle them! Just do a basic fridge pickle. Add heat or sweet to your liking, then use it on top of salads, or mixed into tuna/chicken/egg salad. I also like them spooned on top of a simple plate of sliced avocado and tomato, or dolloped on top of some creme fraiche that's been spread on a piece of toast. So tasty.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
amysarah
amysarah July 31, 2014

Just to add a thought - lentils and salmon are a classic combination. A lentil salad (I second David Lebovitz's recipe - delicious) would be great with salmon cooked on the grill, or even cold poached for a very hot day.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
ChefJune
ChefJune July 31, 2014

Lentils are great as a salad. I cook them up with onions, garlic and carrots chopped fine. while they are still warm, I dress them with a lemony, mustardy vinaigrette with fresh herbs from my garden tossed in -- and a nice big handful of wild arugula or watercress.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
ChefJune
ChefJune July 31, 2014

Oh, forgot to mention we eat this salad room temp or cold. Chunks of leftover chicken or steak are great in it, too.

Liza's Kitchen NYC
Liza's Kitchen NYC July 31, 2014

I feel like with salad dressing simple is best. I often take a small glass jar and pour in some oil, balsamic vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard, and a couple shakes of dried herbs (whatever you like). Close the jar, shake, done! Perfect every time.

Review our Code of Conduct
Don't send me emails about new comments
Showing 15 out of 15 Comments Back to top
Recommended by Food52