Wednesday, February 17, 2010

learning to love lentils

I've had a couple of bad run-ins with lentils, but I'm not quite ready to give up on them. Part of the problem was that I began to expect too much out of them. I wanted my lentil burgers to be moist, and they weren't. I wanted my lentil soup to be interesting and it was dull.

I'm sharing this recipe with you because it is a delicious way to give lentils another try. It was one of the first times I remember enjoying them and I want to get back to those days. My friend Rebecca Trego shared this recipe with me and its worth a try. Let me know what you think.

"Lebanese Lentils"

1 cup lentils
6 cups water
2-3 boullion cubes, depending on your taste
3/4 cup long-grain white rice

3 large onions, slivered
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
dried thyme (optional)

Cover lentils with water, add salt and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir in rice and cook for 20 minutes. Saute onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown. Drain oil from onions into lentils and rice and set onions aside. Continue cooking lentils and rice until moisture is absorbed. To serve, arrange lentils on a platter and spoon onions over top. Individual servings of Lebanese Lentils are traditionally topped with Salata.


Toss salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients until well blended. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Place over the Lebanese Lentils.


1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
1 small head iceberg lettuce, torn (I’ve also substituted spinach or arugula for one or both of the lettuces above)
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 green onions, thinly sliced (I usually don’t put onions in the salad since there are already a ton of onions put on the lentils)

5 sprigs parsley, minced
3 sprigs mint, minced
2 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced (sometimes I don’t put the cucs in since they aren’t always in season)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsalmic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced


  1. I used 2 bouillon cubes and that was sufficient flavoring. I didn't use whole heads of lettuce, but will make salata again tonight for the leftover lentils, rice, and onions. I didn't slice three large onions. I only used two, but you make want to cut down the amount of olive oil you use.

    The vinaigrette was delicious and the presentation was really appetizing and colorful.

  2. I'm SO glad that you liked it! What did Eric think?

  3. He really liked it too. The salada was so refreshing on top! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I love lentils! This recipe sounds easy enough and flavorful and healthy and yummy! In Spain, people eat a bite of lentils before midnight on New Year's Eve for good luck with money. Hmm... :-)