How to cook lentils to freeze
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
I prefer small lentils because they cook faster. I am using Fiesta brand today.
First, pour a one pound (16 oz) bag of lentils on a rimmed baking sheet and pick through and remove any stones, chaff, or rice (Fiesta brand apparently must process or package rice in the same facility). Next pour lentils in colander (mine has tiny holes, not worried about losing any lentils down the drain) and rinse thoroughly. Leave to drain while taking the next step.
In large sauce pot or low stock pot with vented lid, saute 1/3-1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 large peeled and minced garlic cloves in 1 1/2 Tablespoons salted butter until browned. Add lentils, one bay leaf, and 5 cups of water. Bring lentils to boil and reduce heat to simmer, covering with lid. Cook for 20-30 minutes to yield 6 cups cooked (not mushy) lentils and 1 cup of liquid. Keep an eye on them since you pre-soaked them for 20 minutes to accelerate cooking time and you don't want mushy lentils.
Drain again (save and store liquid if desired), take out bay leaf and allow to cool. Remove lentils to freezer bags or storage containers (1 cup). Seal and place in freezer. Instant lentils can be thawed and added to recipes.
What is nice about lentils is they don't, as beans do, require overnight soaking and they cook much faster than beans. I am glad there is a recipe on the back of the Fiesta bag for lentil salad that has Tabasco in it--I personally find lentils BLAND and boring, so I am hoping this recipe spices them up!
Brown, yellow, and green lentils!
There are also red lentils used in some recipes, look for those!