How To Cook A Goddamn Lentil In 30 Easy Steps

Good morning, my Plant-Based Pretties.  Today I would like to cover a subject that became very evident as soon as you saw the title of this post, LENTIL COOKERY (the green kind).  Like three people have asked me over the years how this is accomplished, and really lentils are a pretty fucking simple, resilient legume.  They aren’t finicky little buttholes like rice, requiring “exact measurements” and “cooking times,” There are a lot of means to get to the ends of a cooked lentil.  You can soak overnight before cooking (yawn, boring), you can boil them in a bunch of liquid then strain them when they are done (not a bad way of doing things if you want each lentil to retain their shape i.e. for salads), but I choose to cook lentils the old fashioned way, and I honestly don’t know what I mean by that. Ultimately, you just Cook It Til It’s Done.

Lentils, the green kind. Kick ass food photo by me.

First things first: I INSIST on using a tea kettle, be it electric or stove top.  If you don’t have one, I would suggest that you acquire one at some point in your life, it makes cooking things like lentils, risotto, and quick noodle soups much easier.  If you don’t have one, just keep a second pot of either water or vegetable stock at a simmer for this cooking process. It’s fine. Really.

This recipe is what I use as a base for other hot recipes which include Lentils. Tacos, burger patties, soups, motherfucking lentil loaf, shit like that.  It also works well for those of you who are super organized about Meal Prep, and the large number of steps should satisfy your “making things complicated for simplicity sake” nature.

Lentil/Mushroom Taco “Meat” w/Pico and Guacamole
Lentil/Mushroom Tacos, a good fucking use of cooked lentils. And Mushrooms.

How To Cook A Fucking Green Lentil In A Lot Of Steps

  • 1.5C Lentils, the green kind.
  • One small onion
  • 2 Vegetable Boullion Cubes
  • 4-5 Cups hot water (you may or may not need it all)
  • 1t Oregano Leaf
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Fucking Pepper, whatever you got.

How do we do it?

  • Finely dice one small to medium yellow onion, while this is going on let your medium size sauce pan heat up on medium high heat. At a medium pace.
  • Toss a little vegetable oil into the pan, let it heat up for 10-15 seconds then
  • Add the onion to the pan and saute for about 6-9 minutes
  • About 1/2 way through the onion cook time, start adding your oregano, some salt, fresh cracked pepper, and the stock cubes.
  • Stir that all up so that the melted cubes coat the onions and everyone gets to know each other fairly well.  Don’t forget to stir on the reg! DON’T BURN THE ONIONS.
  • Add the lentils, and really just put whatever amount close to 2 cups in there. This isn’t rocket brains, y’all. Also add the Bay Leaf at this point.  Stir the lentils in with the onion mixture and let it all cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the boiling water from your tea kettle slowly, just to cover the lentils plus about a half inch.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, check the lentils. You should not be able to see water above the lentil level. That means its time to…
  • Add more water, this time about an inch above the lentil level. If you are following along and had restarted your hot water so it was boiling again, you should be able to just add it and cover the pan back up to simmer.  Hot water cook lentil.
  • Check again in 20-25 minutes, this takes a long fucking time really.  What are we up to like 2 hours now? Sheesh.
  • If you stir the lentils, they should be a little wet at the bottom. Take a taste of the lentils, they should be close to al dente.  Give them a stir once more, then tightly cover the pan and pull off the heat.
  • Let sit for however long, maybe 10-15 minutes, maybe an hour. You do you.
  • They are done. You can either spread them out on a sheet pan and cool them under refrigeration, or use them hot and now.
  • That is the super simple 30 step process to cooking lentils, the green kind.

Now go use these lentils for good or for evil, your choice!



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