Black lentils are braised in browned butter and tangy apple cider and topped with lightly pickled apples and radishes for a healthy, high fiber meal.
Rarely has a simple ingredient won me over and caused me to want to cook with it over and over again as black lentils have. I certainly didn’t expect to love them as much as I did when I first tried them. I mean, they’re lentils. It’s not like I loved lentils before I tried the black ones. I tolerated them at best.
But black lentils are different. They cook quickly, yet they stay firm after cooking. They don’t turn to mush like other lentil varieties do. So I’ve been using them in lots of different ways, including these Braised Black Lentils with Lightly Pickled Apple and Radish.
The lentils cook up with so much flavor thanks to the addition of loads of shallots and garlic, mustard, and apple cider. The pickled radishes and apples, as well as the goat cheese add some tang to make a perfectly balanced flavor profile.
You can serve these lentils cold, and call it a salad, or warm, and call it an entree. Call it whatever you want, but these high fiber, high protein lentils are filling enough to make a complete meal. And even better if you serve them over a bed of leafy greens to bump up the veggie intake.
Braised Black Lentils with Lightly Pickled Apple and Radish
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter,
- 3 large shallots, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2/3 cup hard apple cider (see note)
- 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry black lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small Granny smith apple, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- mixed leafy greens (optional)
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until butter is fragrant and golden brown. Add 3/4 of the sliced shallots, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in apple cider, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the cider is almost all reduced, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer until lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, stir together 1 Tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt until the salt is dissolved. Add the radishes, apples and remaining sliced shallots and toss well.
- If there is still lots of liquid remaining when the lentils are cooked, increase heat to medium high, and cook until liquid is reduced, about 3 minutes. When the lentils are done, remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Serve warm lentils topped with the apple radish mixture and crumbled goat cheese. Serve over a bed of mixed leafy greens if desired.
*Recipe adapted from Milk Street Tuesday Nights
Braised Black Lentils Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition info does not include leafy greens. Serving your lentils over a bed of leafy greens is a good way to add additional fiber, vitamins and minerals without adding significant calories, fat, carbs, or sodium.