The Perfect French Green Lentils 如何煮法式綠扁豆

Many years ago, before I knew much about cooking, I was making a recipe that called for French green lentils and used Indian green lentils instead, thinking they were the same thing. It is easy to confuse them, since they're both green. Especially in the US, unless you go to a specialty store or a health food store, you won't find many varieties of lentils. Though the two lentils are similar in color, French lentils are darker, smaller, and hold their shape much better after cooking. They're also called Puy lentils (lentilles du Puy) because they're originally grown in the French region, Puy.

When preparing French lentils, you can just cook them as you do other beans, with the added benefit that you don't have to soak them, so you save time. I like cooking them with a bouquet garni, to add a nice aroma to the lentils, but you don't have to if you don't happen to have all the ingredients in the fridge. I also add a strip of kombu during the cooking since it helps reduce gas from lentils. 

French lentils are my favorite because they're not as mushy as other lentils. I love them just as they are: in salad, or with rice, vegetables, meat, fish, or as a garnish on soup, etc. Since they're the smallest of the lentils, they don't take long to cook, and are also a little easier to digest. Nonetheless, they contain all the fiber and protein of other beans. So the next time you go to a natural food store, pick some up and try this special variety of lentil!

The bouquet garni adds a nice flavor to the lentils while cooking


French Green Lentils (makes about 2 1/2 C)

A: 1 C      French lentils, rinsed
    3 C      water
    one     1 1/2" piece of kombu

B: 1/2 piece of celery
    a small handful of parsley stems 
    a few sprigs of thyme (I didn't use the thyme since I didn't have it)
    1 bay leaf

sea salt and black pepper

extra virgin olive oil (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

1. Make a bouquet garni with ingredients B and tie them well with a string. *If you don't have all the ingredients, no worries. Just use what you have and it'll still add some nice flavors to the lentils.

2. Place A and B in a mediium sized pot and bring it to a boil. Then cover and turn down the heat to low and cook until tender, about 25-30 minutes. *If you'd like to have it more al dente, cook for about 20-25 minutes.

3. Discard the kombu and B and strain the lentils. *You may want to save some of the lentil water for your soup or other recipes.

4. Transfer the lentils into a bowl, season with a little sea salt and black pepper while it's hot and that's it! *If you wish to enjoy it as is, you can drizzle a little bit of olive oil and squeeze a little lemon juice over it.

                                                                                               - Yvonne

I add some kombu to help reduce the gas from the lentils

許多年前,在我對烹飪有進一步的認識之前,有一次在書上看到一個食譜,裡面的食材有法式綠扁豆 (英文為French green lentil),但當時對所有豆類都不是很熟悉,就買了普遍的印度綠扁豆(英文為green lentil)。這也難怪會搞錯啦(・・。)ゞ 它們的名字相似,顏色都呈綠色,再加上在美國一般超市都沒有賣法式綠扁豆,要到健康食品店才會看到比較多的種類。

事實上,法式綠扁豆顏色較深、較扁也較小、煮熟之後也比較容易保有它的形狀。由於它是原產於法國地區 - Puy,所以它還有另一個名稱叫Puy lentil。它烹煮的方法很簡單,就像煮其它豆子一樣,但比較方便的是它不需要先浸泡,而且因為比較小,煮的時間相對的比較短,也對一般吃豆子不容易消化的朋友們較適合。我喜歡將它們和香草束一起煮以增加香氣。另外,我還加入昆布一起煮,以幫助消化。


法式綠扁豆 (約2 1/2杯)

A: 法式綠扁豆  1 杯 (沖洗過)
    水            3 杯
    昆布          1片 (約3.5公分長)

B: 洋芹菜    半支
    百里香    3-4根 (我剛好家裡沒有,因此沒有使用)
    荷蘭芹梗 1小撮
    月桂葉    1片

海鹽、黑胡椒 少許

檸檬 半顆 (可以不使用)
橄欖油 少許 (可以不使用)

1. 將B料以棉繩綁起來(這也就是所謂的香草束 - bouquet garni)。*若沒有全部的B料也沒關係。

2. 將AB料全部放入一個中型的深鍋中煮滾,然後以小火煮約30分鐘。*若想要咬起來有點質感,不是太軟,煮20-25分鐘即可。

3. 將昆布與B料拿出,並將綠扁豆過濾去掉液體。

4. 將綠扁豆倒入一容器中,趁熱加入海鹽、黑胡椒拌勻。*若想直接這樣簡單的食用,可以淋上一點橄欖油,再擠一點檸檬汁。

                                                                                               - Yvonne

Rinse the lentils well before cooking


Do not add salt during cooking or it'll prolong the cooking time! 


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