Lentil Cooking Tips• Lentils are a natural in soups and stews and also make a great cold salad.
• Lentils need no pre-soaking and cook much more quickly than other dried legumes.
• To cook lentils, simply pick over to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid in digestion). Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
• When using a pressure cooker to cook lentils, add a teaspoon of oil to keep the scum from blocking the safety valve.
• Salt added to the cooking water will toughen the beans. Add salt once the lentils are completely cooked.
• Acidic ingredients such as wine or tomatoes can lengthen cooking time. You may wish to add these ingredients after the lentils have become tender.
• Lentils should be liberally seasoned.
• The high protein content in lentils makes them an excellent meat substitute.
• Older lentils will take longer to cook because they have lost more moisture. Do not mix newly-purchased lentils with old ones. They will cook unevenly.
More About Lentils and Lentil Recipes:• Lentil Selection and Storage
• Lentil Cooking Tips and Preparation
• Lentil Equivalents
• Lentil History
• Lentil Recipes
Lentil Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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