Friday, September 12, 2014

Hot Green Lentils with Mint Vinaigrette

A simple little Nigel Slater from-the-pantry dish that pairs nutty lentils with a minty, slightly tangy dressing. Good for a crazy week when you don't want to put a lot of time and effort into dinner but still want something that satisfies.

Hot Brown Green Lentils with Mint Vinaigrette 
Adapted from Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater
(For 2)

1 heaped cup brown lentils (I used French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
a sprig of fresh mint
(I added 2 1/2 cups veggie broth)
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

Rinse the lentils in a strainer under running water. Cook them (there is no need to soak them) in boiling slated water with the bay leaf and mint sprig until tender, about 20minutes. (I cooked my green lentils about 25 minutes.)

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Crush the mint leaves with a little salt in a small bowl. Add the minced shallot and pour in the vinegar. Mix in the oil with a fork. Season with pepper.

Drain the lentils and pour the dressing over them while they are still warm.

Notes/Results: Like most lentil dishes--not the prettiest of recipes but this one has great flavor--mint and lentils make an excellent match. I think cooking the lentils in a good low-salt veggie stock gave them even more of a taste boost. I used puy, or French green lentils because I like their slightly more toothsome texture and the way they hold their shape. They take an extra five minutes or so of cooking time but this is still an easy dish to get to the table in 30 minutes. I garnished with extra fresh mint for color and paired it with a piece of hot, honey-smoked salmon. These could easily be eaten on their own or would be great paired with sausages, lamb or chicken for you meat eaters out there. I would make this again. 

This week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is "Lentils, Legumes, and Pulses, Oh My!" Celebrating those versatile and healthy pantry all-stars. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the IHCC post.



  1. I like the idea of using mint with the lentils! Also, I have an entry for SS this week! A three-bean salad!

  2. Sounds like a tasty side dish or perhaps the start of a bean salad? Definitely a great accompaniment to salmon though!

  3. I like the idea of using mint with the lentils! Also, I have an entry for SS this week! A three-bean salad!

  4. I love lentils with a simple dressing and this one sounds lovely with the shallots and mint.

  5. Seems it is lentil week ;-) I like those little French lentils, I am a huge fan of lentil salad

  6. Hi Deb,
    This is such a lovely looking dish! Pairing it with honey-smoked salmon sounds delicious! I should cook with lentils more often!

  7. You could certainly doctor it up with goodies to make it more of a salad Joanne--even stirring in some cooked grains would be nice. It's good cold and even on its own, simple as it is.

  8. Deb,
    I am fascinated by the fresh mint on the lentils. It looks so good, I can almost taste it. With the cooler weather, I'll be thinking about making lentils soon- hope my mint garden holds up!

  9. Lentils are always good for a healthy side.

  10. Couscous & ConsciousnessSeptember 29, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Deb, you're so right - lentils are great for those time-starved days when you still want something healthy, nutritious and tasty, and yet effortless. I always think one of the great things about lentils is that they marry so well with so many great flavours, but I never would have thought mint - now I can't wait to try it.


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