Lentil fortitude

January 30, 2010

This is one of those ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ dishes: lentil tabbouleh, from Greg & Lucy Malouf’s Saha book. In fact, this combo is so obvious, you all probably eat it five times a week, but it’s a delicious revelation to me.

While you could easily do this with canned lentils, I used dried Puy lentils as per the recipe and was reminded again how fantastic they are – they hold their shape so beautifully, and the ever-so-slightly-squeaky texture is a brilliant contrast to the soft moistness of the other ingredients.

My only tip is to add the tomatoes at the last minute before serving, as they start to lose their colour a little once mixed in.

100g Puy lentils

juice 1 lemon

1 cup mint leaves, chopped

1 cup parsley, chopped

3 shallots, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded & diced (this is one occasion where I actually do seed the tomatoes, to prevent sludginess)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

salt & pepper

I’m pretty sure you can figure out what to do now – cook the lentils in boiling water for 20 mins or so, till just tender; cool; chuck everything in!


  1. The right recipe at the right time! Here I was failing to think up a side dish for tomorrow night’s Spanakopita, something new, salady but not same-old. Charlotte, if there was an award for timely food blog postings, you’ve just won it. Thanks.

  2. Oooh! I blush …

  3. I’ve been doing a variation of this for years, and it’s still among my favourite foods – the only significant difference is that I use cumin instead of cinnamon and allspice, and I add a little bit of goat’s cheese and a dozen or so pitted olives. Puy lentils FTW.

  4. Brilliant .. lentil supper after a long sundy lunch .. thank you shuck!

  5. Don, nice to see you back. Enjoy.

    And Virginia, those additions sound rather spankingly good (sorry, just reading the Empress’s kinky book – in preparation for this event.. http://stephaniecliffordsmith.com/news%20&%20events.html you really should all come and witness me and Steph trying to work some recipes into a discussion about perversions of various kinds).

  6. I have the Turquoise by the Maloufs, but not Saha. Turquoise is beautiful, but it’s big, unwieldy and oddly shaped. So I enjoy looking at it, but rarely actually cook from the thing. The lentil tabbouleh is lovely though, especially with the bit of allspice.

    • Thanks Kathryn, nice to have you pop by. And may I say how much I like your blog? SO interesting about the chicken! Lots of good stuff here, you other peeps, and Kathryn is a nutritionist, no less – check it out. http://kathrynelliott.com.au/blog

  7. I made it! Very nice,light, comforting and amazingly healthy too Charlotte.I hadnt realised that allspice was the secret ingredient in variations I’d had out.

    Served it with figs and proscuitto; whole flat braised mushrooms;mixed grain tortillas; and marinated fetta. Very toothsome.

  8. Ooh Jules – whole flat braised mushrooms, you say! Sounds veddy good indeed. I always think of mushrooms as wintery, for some reason, but praps I’d better rethink. And I agree – the allspice was a revelation to me too.

  9. I took inspiration and made my own version last night from store cupboard stuff. Roasted a chicken with streaky bacon then used juices together with some stock and white wine to boil the lentils. Mixed the lentils with bacon and fried onions. Roasted french beans, tomatoes, courgettes & garlic then mixed everything together with torn mozzarella topped by a juicy leg of chicken. YUM!

  10. Um, Angela – I have one word to say to you. YummorAMA.
    And this reminds me of one of those bloody good Skye Gyngell recipes, of braised lentils & roast chicken. Must look it up. Thanks for popping by.

  11. […] visitors to this blog will know that I am an avid fan of the legume (see here, here, here and here, just for a few […]

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