Black Beluga Lentils are now readily available in supermarkets so I feel perfectly justified in using them in this easy vegetarian recipe, but you can use puy lentils in their place if you can’t get them. I love that they hold together to give fabulous texture in both salads and hot dishes and I adore their glistening black shininess, it makes a simple recipe look so fancy!
This is one of my children’s favourite meals so I’m adding it here as part of my weekly series sharing my simplest vegetarian recipes in the hopes that the one who has just left for Uni will eat more than pasta for this first term! I make this one on the boat on a tiny stove in a tiny galley and it’s on the table in 20 minutes feeding hungry sailors so I’m confident you can cook it up easily on dry land!
I used pre-cooked black beluga lentils from Merchant Gourmet for this recipe but if you are using dried (or dried puy lentils) cover them with twice as much water as lentils, add a little salt, bring them to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check them after 15 minutes, you want them to have bite but not to resemble gravel!
- 250g pre cooked Black Beluga Lentils
- 200g new potatoes, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50g kale, stripped from the stalk and roughly chopped (discard the stalk)
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsps dried mixed herbs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 free range eggs (optional)
- Boil the potato slices for 10 minutes until just fork soft, drain thoroughly
- Steam the kale for 5 - 10 minutes until bright green and just softened (taste after 5 minutes)
- Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the potato slices until crisp and brown on both sides
- Add the cooked lentils, garlic, spring onions, kale and herbs and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until hot and fragrant, stirring frequently
- If you are adding eggs to your beluga dish gently fry them in a little olive oil in a separate pan while the lentils and kale are heating through
Black Beluga Lentils with Kale and Eggs is another of those dishes which is open to interpretation and will happily accommodate extra veg of your choice or whatever you have hanging around in the fridge.
- It is delicious with fried mushrooms and extra garlic stirred in
- Pep up with some chillis and chopped peppers.
- A sprinkle of grated vegetarian parmesan or cheddar on top of the egg adds a bit of oomph
- Make it vegan: Leave the egg out completely and chop in some smoked tofu for a tasty vegan supper.
If anything in this recipe confuses you, have a look at our growing Glossary of Cooking Terms for Beginners which aims to take the guesswork out of recipe reading. If you’re still baffled leave a comment or find me on social media!
This week’s terms and questions are:
What is steaming?
Steaming is cooking veg in steam rather than directly in boiling water. More nutrients are retained this way and you’re not pouring vitamins and minerals down the sink with the cooking water. You will need either a steamer pan or an insert to pop in a pan you already have. If you haven’t got either, never fear, there is a way to steam without a steamer! If you have a metal sieve or colander which will fit over one of your pans without touching the bottom, you can use that! Pop your veg in the sieve, put a little water in the bottom of your pan (make sure the veg isn’t sitting in it), cover the sieve with a lid or aluminium foil and – hey presto – home made steamer, simmer away…you are a culinary genius and all your friends are REALLY impressed!
Why are Beluga lentils called Beluga? Do they contain whale?
No, absolutely not, don’t be silly. They look very much like the Beluga Caviar they are named after but no sea creatures are involved, thank goodness!
Why Use Non Stick Pans?
I don’t use them very often if I’m honest but they do come out for eggs and when I’m frying potatoes – it makes everything just that little bit easier and makes washing up a breeze!
I do hope you’ll come back next Wednesday for the next recipe in this simple vegetarian series. I’m posting a new recipe here every week in term time and some of them will also be popping up over on my YouTube channel. Sign up to receive email updates straight into your inbox, follow me across social media and on YouTube and if you have a question…just ask!
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