These shiny petit black beluga lentils are a delicious treat. The name, black beluga lentils, is due to the fact that they hold their shape well when cooked and are a dark shiny black- reminiscent of the finest caviar, Beluga. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and are often a meat substitute in Asian or vegetarian dishes. As with all dark-colored grains and fruits they are high in certain phytonutrients that are believed to be quite beneficial. The best part, however, is their mild earthy flavor and delicate texture. These black beluga lentils are not like the regular soup variety. They are excellent in cold salads as well as soups or served alone. See recipes for a wonderful versatile pilaf/salad which makes “Meatless Monday” a breeze. Black beluga lentils are a household favorite for us and a frequent menu option at finer restaurants.
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Dried black beluga lentils may be stored in an airtight container in your pantry. They will keep for quite some time (similar to dried beans) However these are so delicious you probably won't have to worry about that! Use one part lentils to four parts water. Cook for 13-15 minutes for salads and a few minutes longer for a side dish. Black Lentils will double in volume when cooked ( one cup uncooked equals two cups cooked)
Rinse 1 cup black beluga lentils and put in saucepan with 4 cups water. ( or vegetable broth) add 2 whole or minced garlic cloves. Simmer for 13-18 minutes- taste for doneness. (They should be tender but not mushy!) Drain and then season with salt, fresh pepper and a little of your favorite vinegar. Minus 8 Dehydrate seems to complement them beautifully! Serve alongside, chicken, duck or pork. See Recipes for a wonderful farro and lentil pilaf which is delicious hot or cold.