I grew up eating dal — the thick soup that’s a staple of South Asian cooking. Even so, lentils and that i haven’t had an excellent relationship. They bored me as a child . once I became a vegetarian as an adolescent , I avoided them. My attempts to form peace with the lens-shaped legume as an adult didn’t go well: I recall just one occasion so severely undercooking a bag of brown lentils that I just decided to write down them off completely.

So I loaded abreast of chickpeas, black beans, and cannellini beans instead, which worked just fine on behalf of me . Then at some point , i used to be strolling through Whole Foods and caught sight of luggage that seemed like caviar on display. They were black lentils. i used to be so intrigued, I forgot our past differences, and picked up a bag.

Friends, that bag completely altered my opinions about lentils.

Product Image: Certified 100% Organic Black Beluga Lentils
Certified 100% Organic Black Beluga Lentils
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The Prettiest Lentils Around Also Happen to Be the foremost Delicious
If, like me, you’ve always thought lentils were a yawn, black lentils will change your opinion. They also pass the name beluga lentils because, as I noted, they really do appear as if caviar. They’re petite and pretty but it’s not just their looks that make them stand out.

They have a thicker skin than other lentil varieties, so you’ll simmer a pot until tender and they’ll hold their shape instead of turn mushy. This was the thing that basically hooked me: Lentils can have texture!

I quickly realized that what I hadn’t liked about lentils was, in fact, their mushiness. But black lentils even have an additional rich, earthy flavor you don’t find in green or red lentils, which only adds to their appeal.

Why Black Lentils Deserve a Spot in Your Pantry
Perhaps, until like me, you don’t find mushy textures off-putting. Maybe you wish brown, red, and green lentils. (And if so, you’re not alone — they’re a staple food for a reason.) But I still think you need to provides a bag of black lentils a try.

That’s because they’re practically during a category all their own. instead of being a meek ingredient on your shelf, black lentils are assertive. They’re so eye-catching on the plate and within the bowl that they suddenly make the entire honest act of eating a legume feel fancy. Yet, they’re still the affordable, nutrient powerhouse (Fiber! Complex carbs! Plant-based protein and iron!) that everybody should be eating more of — and eating more of them once they feel phenomenal makes it extra easy.

Buy a bag: Black Lentils from Amazon, $18.50 for two pounds

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Credit: Joe Lingeman
My Favorite Ways to Use Black Lentils
Make an all-week lunch salad. Since black lentils delay so well when cooked, they’re the things of meal prep dreams. i really like throwing together an enormous lentil salad crammed with colorful vegetables and dealing my way through it all week long.
Marinate them. differently to use them in meal prep is to marinate them. Cook a batch of black lentils, follow the marinade recipe here, and toss everything together while the lentils are still warm. They’ll get more flavorful the more they sit, and may be piled on toast, sprinkled on salads, tossed with rice , or enjoyed as-is.
Use them within the slow cooker. Slow cookers are great for creating soup, but because they simmer all day, regular lentils tend to show to finish mush within the appliance. That won’t happen if you employ black lentils. Here’s a recipe try.
Turn them into a striking dal. While what i really like about black lentils is their hard texture, if you retain simmering them on the stove for an additional 10 minutes approximately past when they’re perfectly tender, they’re going to begin to disintegrate a touch . But even then, they continue to be more intact than other lentils, which makes for a singular dal. This recipe from Smitten Kitchen may be a favorite.
There are countless ingredients clamoring for space in your kitchen. Taste Makers are those that really make a dish amazing. monthly , we’re exploring one ingredient that has earned its place in our small kitchens and can make even simple food taste spectacular.

Your turn: What’s your favorite underrated ingredient in your pantry? What does one reach for once you want to elevate your cooking quickly and easily? Tell us within the comments below! We may provides it the star treatment in an upcoming edition of Taste Makers.