Lentils And Rice With Crispy Onions And Sage
Lentils and rice go together perfectly in my eyes. I could honestly eat lentils daily, but I don’t think that would fly with my family. The lentils I’m referring to here are French lentils, a classic variety in the culinary world. They are greenish-brown, petite, earthy, and delicious—and that’s how I feel about them before I add the crispy onions. Lentils have been part of the human diet since Neolithic times, and remarkably, there is archeological evidence showing that these popular legumes were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago.
French lentils are known as “lentilles du Puy,” a term that can only be used to designate lentils that come from Le Puy-en-Velay in the Auvergne region of France. Earthy and more mineral-tasting than regular lentils, these babies cook up faster and retain a nice firm texture. (Red or brown lentils tend to break down in the cooking process.) Lentils, for those who don’t know, are considered quite healthful, offering plenty of essential nutrients, and are linked to various potential to health benefits. Let’s break that down a bit more. One cup of cooked lentils contains 16 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of fat, negligible saturated fat and no cholesterol. Lentils are also loaded with folic acid and iron, making these tasty legumes a go-to in my diet.
The primary issue with lentils is that people don’t know how to cook them or flavor them properly. Lentils alone are a bit bland. But proper cooking and the addition of just the right ingredients can make you a life-time lentil eater. If you liked my riced cauliflower with leeks, you may like this dish as well. In this dish, I have added brown rice for texture. I have also added lots of flavor with the use of fresh sage (don’t use the dried stuff in this recipe), parsley, lemon juice and let’s not forget the sweet-yet-salty crispy red onions.
Balancing the texture is the key to making a lentil dish memorable. The correct amount of salt and pepper alone make a remarkable difference. But what elevates a bowl of lentils further is the sweet crunch of the onions. This simple recipe is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Although it can work well as a side dish to almost anything, it is also fabulous on its own, which is exactly how I like it. Served hot or cold, this is one of my favorite dishes anytime of year.