For a warm lentil salad, simmer the beans 15 minutes in broth and toss with chopped fresh parsley, sliced scallions and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Spoon the warm lentil salad on a nest of frisèe and top with seared sea scallops, shrimp or chicken tenders. The lentils keep their shape and stay a little al dente, or crunchy.
For side dishes
Double the cooking time to about 30 minutes. For rice dishes, begin cooking lentils at the same time you cook the rice — they will be ready simultaneously. Mix with pilafs or white rice to add texture and a contrasting garnish.
Triple the time to 45 minutes when cooking soup, stewing with meat, or pureeing for a sauce or heartier soup. If you simmer longer than 45 minutes, the lentils will nicely thicken the broth.
Braised Lamb Shank and Lentils
Braise the shanks in broth for 2 hours, then add the lentils during the final 45 minutes. French green lentils are particularly suited for this dish. Sometimes called Egyptian lentils, they can be found in gourmet food markets.
Whether you cook brown, green, red or yellow lentils, the satisfaction is the same. Try these quick-cooking tasty legumes anytime you need a spoonful of flavor and nourishment.