Lentils love olive oil. And while any oil will do, when it comes to making a side dish so tasty it outshines the main, look for a brand that focuses on flavor. Enter: Brightland’s Ember olive oil , which is blended with garlic, habaneros, and serranos. Earthy, mild beluga or French green lentils bring the oil’s warming notes front and center, especially when used to sizzle shallots until crisp. To round out the heat of the oil, melt in salty anchovies and tangy lemon zest when it’s still warm, then toss with freshly chopped herbs and sweet golden raisins. —Rebecca Firkser
Test Kitchen Notes
Head here to check out Brightland’s olive oils, including the exclusive Ember, in the Food52 Shop. —The Editors
black beluga or French green lentils, rinsed and picked through
Brightland x Food52 Ember chili-garlic olive oil, plus more for serving
large shallots (or 2 small red onions), halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
oil-packed anchovy fillets
lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
2 to 3 tablespoons
lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
freshly chopped mixed tender herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, and dill (leaves and tender stems)
golden raisins or dried cherries
Thickly sliced feta, Greek yogurt, or labneh, for serving
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Salt the water well (as if you were cooking pasta!), then stir in the lentils. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the lentil variety. Remove from the heat, drain the lentils into a sieve, then transfer to a large bowl.
In a medium skillet or saucepan, combine the oil and shallots over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are beginning to brown and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the anchovies and swirl the pan around to break up the fillets, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Let sizzle for 30 seconds, then immediately dump the shallots and oil into the lentils.
Stir in the lemon juice, herbs, and golden raisins. Season with more salt to taste. If you can, leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving (or up to 2 hours, then cover transfer to the refrigerator for up to 3 days). Drizzle the lentils with more oil and serve with feta, yogurt, or labneh.