How to choose lentils

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Louise Hay
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Lenticchie my love

Di types of lentils in the world there are truly infinite: green, brown, passing through the black ones up to the peeled red lentils.

El Paese is, in particular, a country that boasts a production of prized lentils, decidedly niche, such as the Sicilian ones of Pantelleria, the small ones of Castelluccio di Norcia or the special ones of Leonforte or Ustica, just to name a few.


Between large and fleshy and delicate and mignon, homegrown or with an oriental flavor, do we really know how to choose lentils for the preparation of our dishes? Here are some suggestions.


 

Lentils for soups, pasta and risotto 

Whereas these lentils remain whole, often stewed with a little water and fresh tomato, in a delicate sauce with a little onion or thinly sliced ​​shallot and sage and rosemary to flavor, it is better that they are small, with the tender skin and above all that cook in a short time without soaking.

So the advice falls on small, tasty and delicious lentils, like those of Norcia, the reddish-brown ones of Rascino or those of Ustica.

They are chosen particular also because they embellish and make special - not only from a nutritional point of view, thanks to the iron they contain - dishes of the poor and peasant tradition, such as risotto with lentils, short pasta with lentils, cereal soups (barley, spelled) and lentils. 


 

Lentils for creams and soups 

For creams and velvets the fastest and most comfortable to use, as well as tasty and particular, are the lentils red hulls (Indian masoor or Egyptian ones) or Yellow; (and one dhal).


They are very comfortable: after having rinsed them well several times under running cold water, they are put to boil, perhaps using the pressure cooker, alone or with vegetables of your choice, depending on what the recipe calls for. They are delicious served with a drizzle of fresh vegetable cream and decorated with thin slices of lightly toasted leek or spring onion and dipped in a little balsamic vinegar. 

 

Lentils for veg meatballs

The perfect lentils for vegetarian and vegan dishes of a certain texture, such as meatballs and meatballs, for example, are green lentils giants of Altamura or the big Canadians.


These firm, meaty lentils need soaking, at least three hours, and, once boiled, they lend themselves well to being ground and blended together with spices and other ingredients. 

 

Read also 3 recipes with hulled lentils >>

 

Lentils as a side dish

Here we indulge ourselves with the imagination: you can use both Mungo or Beluga black lentils, for dishes with an Asian flavor or to accompany basmati rice, for example, as well as Indian yellow flaking lentils, mong dhals, to create creamy, rich and spicy dishes.


The combination of small lentils, simply boil and let cool, with seasonal salads offers extraordinary unique dishes. While the large lentil, appreciated stewed, goes well with warm winter dishes and mashed potatoes. 

 

Read also Lentils: 3 easy vegan recipes >>

 

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