Hi, I’m currently campaigning to turn Meatless Mondays into Lentil Mondays. Would you like to sign my petition? In Peru, it's tradition to start off the week with a bowl of lentils, it’s believed that they will bring you good fortune and opportunity. If you’re lucky, you may even find a coin taped underneath your plate. I no longer live at home, but I still make lentils almost every Monday.
This recipe is very flexible. I love to whip it up whenever I’m in need of a good ol’ fridge cleanout. This is the perfect opportunity to transform sad vegetables and greens into something magical. While you can mix and match your favorite spices, I’ve fallen in love with using curry paste to give my lentils depth and a little kick. If you’re looking to amp up the greens in your diet, stir in some baby arugula (or spinach or kale or anything else!) at the very end just to wilt. For peak enjoyment, serve over rice pilaf, some chili oil and, of course, a poached egg.
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- 2 tablepoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, freshly cracked, to taste
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cups green lentils such as Rancho Gordo Heirloom French-Style Green Lentils, rinsed
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Baby arugula, for serving
- Poached egg, for serving (optional, recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
For the Lentils
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4-5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stir in the red curry paste, cumin, garlic paste, and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes more.
Add in the lentils, making sure to coat them with curry and garlic paste mixture, then cover with 2 inches of cool water. Add the bay leaf and another pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce to low simmer and cook, covered until tender, 20-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve lentils with steamed rice, baby arugula, and a poached egg
Note: Depending on the age of the lentils, you may need to cook the lentils longer or add additional water. Lentils should be tender but intact.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce to low .
Crack the egg in a fine mesh sieve (over a small bowl) and remove the liquid-y whites. Transfer the egg to a small ramekin or bowl.
Add one tablespoon of vinegar to the pot and stir to create a vortex.
Pour the egg into the middle of the vortex and set a timer for 3 minutes.
Once the egg is done, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg. Dab with a paper towel to remove excess water and eat immediately.