All-Purpose French Lentils

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This lentil recipe is the little black dress of dinner. Toss a cup or two with a frisee salad. Serve it as a side with duck confit, or roasted or grilled salmon Or top a bowl with some honey-ginger carrots to make them the star of the show. Leftovers make a fab lunch, gently warmed and sprinkled with a little crumbled goat cheese or feta.

All-Purpose French Lentils

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

All-Purpose French Lentils


  1. 1 cup Lentilles du Puy (or sprouted green lentils)
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 cup peeled, finely diced carrot
  4. 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  5. 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  6. 1/2 cup finely diced green pepper
  7. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  9. 1 tablespoon honey
  10. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain and return to pot.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, and sauté carrot, onion, celery, green bell pepper and garlic for 5-8 minutes, until deep golden brown but not mushy. Stir into lentils with vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper ,and up to a quarter cup of juice from any meat or poultry being served with the lentils (like duck). Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes to marry flavors.

Serve warm or cold.

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  • Janelle

    These are so good. I can’t decide if I like them better warm or served at room temperature. These are a great alternative to rice or pasta as a side dish.

  • Chyost

    You need to add nutrional info!

  • Anonymous

    Actually, we very deliberately do not have nutritional info. And I’ll tell you why. Coming from a background of diet-oriented magazines, Alison and I have both seen first-hand how people tend to focus on the numbers when they’re there (avoiding foods that top 10 grams of fat, for instance, not taking into account what kind of fat–and what kind of food–it is). And we both feel strongly that we want the food on Nourish Network to be more about illustrating what a “healthy diet” looks like (and how incredibly enticing it can be) than about getting caught up in the numbers.

    In return for that leap of faith by readers, we promise that the bulk of the recipes (excepting the ones that are clearly “indulgences,” meant to be eaten on rare occasion in small quantities) adhere to our sound nutritional principles of focusing on seasonal vegetables and whole grains, using healthy fats and sustainably-sourced meat, poultry and seafood to enhance the dish. And all are under 500 calories.

    I hope that makes sense!

  • Martha

    What if you are just making the lentils – without making a meat dish? Can you use, say, a quarter cup of chicken broth in place of the “juice from any meat…”?

    • liahuber

      Hi Martha — you sure can! Chicken broth, veggie broth … whatever you like.

  • Patricia Wrench

    Would turmeric be a good spice added to the lentils or would it be to much