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The Washington Post

Fried Lentils

Fried Lentils 24.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 8, 2014

This recipe turns lentils into something more like nuts: crunchy and addictive as a snack, but also good on salads and grains and, as cookbook author Mollie Katzen suggests, layered between beets and yogurt in a savory parfait.

Make Ahead: The lentils need to soak for 1 hour; they can be drained and left to dry for a few hours or even overnight. Store the fried lentils uncovered at room temperature for up to a day; freshen them up in a 200-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.


Servings:
24

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings; makes 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried lentils, preferably smaller red, yellow, black beluga or French du Puy
  • Safflower oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil, for frying
  • Salt

Directions

Put the lentils in a bowl with water to cover. Soak for 1 hour.

Drain the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer, shaking out as much excess water as you can, then lay them out on absorbent towels in a single layer to dry. (Gently shake the lentils around a bit from time to time to help speed up the drying.)

Set a paper-towel-lined plate and a slotted spoon by the stove. Pour the oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a lentil on contact, carefully add just enough lentils to form a single layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they crisp and become slightly translucent around the edges, 5 to 6 minutes. (Red lentils will turn yellow; French du Puy lentils will turn brown.)

Use the slotted spoon to lift out the lentils in batches, holding and slightly tilting each scoop over the pan to let the oil drain off, then transfer them to the lined plate. Salt lightly.

Repeat with the remaining lentils, being sure to wait until the oil is instant-sizzle-hot before adding the lentils.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Heart of the Plate," by Mollie Katzen (Houghton Mifflin, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per tablespoon: 40


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 1g 2%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 15mg 1%

Total Carbohydrates: 5g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 2g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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