Black Lentils With Fresh Herbs

by Renee on July 9, 2013

Black Lentils with Fresh Herbs | Magnolia Days

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.

Black Lentils with Fresh Herbs | Magnolia Days

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.

Black Lentils With Fresh Herbs

45 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Black Lentils With Fresh Herbs

  • 1 cup black Beluga lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chili pod
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 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.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry July 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm

SO pretty.

I made a huge pot of spicy turkey chili with lentils and red quinoa and chopped spinach. It felt like “soup” around here!

FYI..Thomas loved it. There is a God.


Renee July 13, 2013 at 7:09 am

Thanks Terry! I’m glad to see Thomas’ tastes are expanding and he is trying new things.


The Ninja Baker July 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Mmm. Anything that looks like caviar has my vote!


Renee July 13, 2013 at 7:10 am

Thanks Kim. These lentils are really my favorite ones. The way they look and taste are amazing.


Deb July 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

A warm bowl of lentils is just the comfort we need on one of our foggy, gray summer days. Adore the herbs for simmering, summer flavor!


Renee July 13, 2013 at 7:12 am

Thanks Deb. It’s been the wettest summer and these lentils were right with the rainy day mood.


Jaime July 10, 2013 at 12:35 am

Hi Renee! I haven’t cooked lentils in a while, but these look perfect for a rainy day. We are, at long last, getting some sunshine in London, so I’ll be archiving this recipe for winter at the end of the year xx


Renee July 13, 2013 at 7:14 am

I bet London is spectacular on a sunny summer day. I do want to visit it one day.


Angie | Big Bear's Wife July 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

I’ll have to look for this next time I’m at the store!! oo and my rainy day cravings = mac and cheese!


Renee July 13, 2013 at 7:21 am

I’m also a fan of mac and cheese on a rainy day. Love the comfort of it.


Jessica August 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Hey these look amazing, I will be trying tonight, thanks for sharing! Is it necessary to soak the lentils longer than just a rinse?


Renee August 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

It is not necessary to soak the lentils. A rinse is all you need.


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