Lentils, cook them fast and with imagination – Italian Cuisine

Lentils, cook them fast and with imagination

Black, yellow, red, green, brown, orange … there really is something for everyone: these seeds of an ancient plant, humble and cheap, I'm easy and to cook and much more versatile and potentially tasty than we are used to thinking of them. Lentils: cas all legumes, are loadsis of beneficial properties for our body, freschis, dryis, surgelatis or in box that they are, and they are also good for the environment. Of all the legumes, lentils are the most digestible (especially those peeled reds). I'm very proteic – as much as 23% protein – is proverbial for their content of iron. I'm completely fat-free. THEast but not least, I'm Most quick to preparearis! Unlike other dried vegetables, they do not need to be soaked.

We have already shown you the cooking methods, including the simple lessatura (always starting fromcold water) which is the way to have them ready to use, for example, in salads, convenient and quick dishes to prepare that thanks to this economic and protein ingredient can to become substantial single dishes, also perfect at room temperature for the office slip during all the months of the year.

As for the recipes, let's start right from the salads. TOmatched with the right ingredientsthe, can be particularly pleasant: try them for example with cauliflower or paired with endive and onions. They are very tasty with an orange salad, oil, salt & pepper. Or together with aubergines. Light and tasty, then, salad with vinaigrette and lentils , to serve in a glass and the fanciful one of fennel, salmon and lentils in vinagrette with mustard is delicious. In Italy there are many variety of lentils they deserve special mention. Those of Castelluccio di Norcia, IGP Umbrian, cultivated at 1500 meters in the Monti Sibillini Park: try them in salad with crunchy vegetables and sheep's milk ricotta . The dark green giant ones of Altamura, in Puglia, sweets and herbaceous notes, always eaten as a salad with the famous bread that is produced there.

Nshe vegetarian and vegan cuisine they obviously have a place of honor and a variety of recipes that are worth a try even if we are devourers of steaks. Examples? The vegan lentil lasagna; the meatballs where, combined with vegetables, these legumes take on the role of meat (once they were called "the flesh of the poor") and also the exquisite Hamburger of lentils in yellow sauce of yogurt & saffron. Starting with a quick puree, here are two more dishes vegetarians full-bodied.

The lentil fillet it is prepared by boiling lentils separately and potatoes in equal quantities, reducing them to a puree and mixing them with little chickpea flour (in the proportion of 1 tablespoon per 200 grams of lentils) and the flavors that you like best, until you get a dough that can be shaped like a cylinder (if it should be too soft, add rice flour, one spoonful at a time). After that, s'inforna for 20 minutes at 180 °, let it cool and compact and then cut into 3 cm slices thick – that if you want you can do brown for a few minutes, until they are well browned on both sides – to be accompanied if necessary with a sauce to taste (for example of mushrooms, citrus, with green pepper).

Another recipe is that of lentil gratin, which always starts from a puree, mixed wholemeal durum wheat flour (2 tablespoons for a cup of lentils), grated cheese and flavors to taste, all placed in a baking dish, dusted with breadcrumbs and oil.

Also starting from the lentil puree is also prepared pate of lentils and aubergines: the aubergines can be roasted whole in the oven until they are completely cooked and then blended with lentils, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and aromas and spices to taste, such as mint and / or coriander and chilli and / or paprika.

For non vegetarians, instead, if the classic lentil combination is the one with meat, or better with sausages – cotechino docet (see to vary a little on the subject the cotechino candies and lentils) – this legume it matches however much good for the flavors of the sea: fish such as anglerfish rather than seafood such as canestrelli.

Aromas and spices: we abound! Among other things, many of them – like garlic, onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg etc.help prevent dangerous fermentations. Hot recipes of the Italian tradition, like the classics stewed lentils, they are good is some regional recipes, like the Sicilian lentil meatballs or the Abruzzo lentil soup, enriched with chestnuts, lard and rennet apples, I'm very tasty. You we suggest pear of try out also to play with more exotic flavors: a sprinkling of cumin; grated lemon; a bath in coconut milk.

Large space at the ginger (the superfood most loved by Italians!), both fresh and powdered, curry, alla paprika mostly smoked or even to homegrown herbs such as thyme and myrtle to use without fear! With these "Touches" of taste, even rather banal and quick preparations – sautéed lentils and accompanied with rice rather than lentil soup – can be more fresh and intriguing. For example, try the lentil soup with cumin and lemon scent or a lentil sauté with onions and a stick of cinnamon (and maybe star anise) or boiled e topped with yogurt sauce greek, oil, salt, cumin (which is not what you expect! ) and mint.

Carola Traverso Saibante
November 2019


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