The bag with the little black legumes caught my attention. It was on the top shelf behind an assortment of pastas. They were different than any lentils available in my local market. The bag was soon in my cart and the wonder of how they taste went through my mind. My thoughts then went to flavorings. How to prepare them without overpowering the base flavor? The answer was to keep it simple. My garden provided the flavor element and I made black lentils with fresh herbs.
The bag contained black Beluga lentils. They have a nutty flavor and look similar to caviar when cooked. They also have a glistening quality and do not fall apart as easily as other lentils. The simplicity of cooking them with onion and garlic then finishing with fresh herbs makes a side dish worthy of many meals. A chili pod simmers along in the process and adds a subtle warmth.
Rain has fallen every day for a week. It has been a very wet spring and summer. Our rainfall this year so far surpasses all of last year. The grey skies and daily rain are stirring up cravings for comfort food. I’ve found myself making fettuccini alfredo, turkey cutlets, and scavenging the freezer for leftover sauerbraten and spaetzle. Black lentils with fresh herbs enticed me to get out my grill pan so they could go alongside grilled chicken. Hopefully the rain will subside soon and I can fire up the big grill outside.
What do you crave when it rains? Does it depend on the season? Share your rainy day cravings and, who knows, it may inspire me to tackle a recipe and find a new favorite. I do enjoy the inspiration and to hear from you.
- 1 cup black Beluga lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 dried red chili pod
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, chives, and/or basil)
- Sort through lentils to pick out any small stones or debris. Rinse lentils with cool water and drain.
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and chili pod. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain lentils and transfer to a serving bowl. Remove and discard chili pod.
- Gently stir in the fresh herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if desired.