Friday, March 4, 2011

Not my German mother's lentils!!

About a week ago, I saw a recipe on one of my blogger friends' blogs.  I grew up eating lentils on almost a weekly basis.  Most of the time, they were in a soup.  My mother loved lentils.  But she added bratwurst meatballs to the soup, lots of onions and it was baptized as German soup.

Bonnie, at  From a Writer's Kitchen   posted a recipe for Crispy Salmon with Spiced Lentils.  I had to try the lentils.  Luckily, I learned a lesson some years ago.  When more than one spice is added to anything, place the measured spice in a dish or plate before adding to the pot.  Good thing I did.  I grabbed the cayenne and measured  3/4 teaspoon.  When I picked up the paprika, I saw that I had made an error.  It should have been 3/4 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 tsp cayenne.  So, I just fluffed the large amount of cayenne into the sink and continued on!  Ah..hoo.ah!!

We grilled a large, thick pork chop and split it between the two of us.    Placed it on a bed of the spicy lentils and everything was right in the world.  I love these lentils.  In fact, as left-overs the next night with a marinated flank steak, I loved the lentils even more!!  Thank you Bonnie.  This is a keeper and will be repeated often.

Spiced Lentils
Inspired by Williams Sonoma and From a Writer's Kitchen

1 1/2 cups French lentils
8 whole cloves
1 small onion
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (I used a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained)
1/12 cups clam juice (I used chicken stock)
1 1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground tumeric and sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper

Pick over lentils, rinse and place in a large saucepan.  Add water to cover by two inches.  Stick cloves into the yellow onion and add along with the bay leaves.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer, uncovered until tender, 15-20 minutes.  Drain and discard the onion and bay leaves.  Set aside.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm one tbsp. of  oil.  Add the red onion and sautè until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, clam juice or chicken stock and all the spices.  Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes.  NOTE:  Because of using canned tomatoes, cook this down a bit more, reduced by about one third.  Add the parsley and lentils.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the tomato juice is reduced and absorbed.  Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Keep warm.  You WILL enjoy this!!


  1. I love lentils and have already made a note of this for dinner tonight. Thanks. Diane

  2. Thanks for the "shout out" and giving me another idea to top those tasty lentils. A pork chop sounds just right. Yes, that might have been a wee too much cayenne!!


  3. I love lentils too. They are hardly ever served in restaurants here, so it's hard to imagine new recipes. I'll have to try this, especially if it is good the second day.

  4. I like that you don't have to soak lentils before cooking them, so they're perfect for me who doesn't often plan too far ahead what we're having for dinner. This sounds like a good recipe.

  5. If you were my neighbor I'd love you best of all.

  6. Okay, I'm needin' me some of those lentils!! LOL! Seeing them two diffferent ways... tempting every time!! I'm sure that is some kind of message. LOL!

  7. I did not grow up eating lentils, but have learned to adore them in adulthood. Plus they are so good for you.

    Good advice about measuring spices. It's so easy to make a mistake, isn't it? How do I know? Been there, done that. LOL.

  8. I learn something everytime I pop in here! I like the idea of lentils with pork and will give this a try. They are not normally something I have in my kitchen but you have inspired me. Thanks :-)

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