About an year ago I made Mediterranean braised lentils with poached eggs for a client. They were, without a doubt, the best lentils I had ever tasted. I always thought this legume was boring but this recipe changed my mind. Sadly, I forgot to save the recipe and I couldn’t for the life of me find it again! I desperately wanted those lentils again but without a source, I had to figure it out on my own. Well, I’m sure you guessed it but I was able to replicate the dish. Naturally, me being me, I added a couple more elements like black pepper yogurt and sizzled herbs to make this dish one spectacular meal. Goodbye boring lentils, hello flavor town!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
When you look up recipes for lentils, they usually are cooked in water or stock. Maybe a little garlic, a little wine, or some onion, but that’s about it. I wanted more. So, I turned to Mediterranean food for inspiration and added ingredients like tomato paste, smoked paprika, fennel, oregano, and red wine. It seems so simple but when you combine all of these items together, they work like a charm.
Saute the onion until softened, then add the garlic along with the tomato paste, lentils, and all of the seasonings. Add the red wine and let it cook out before adding the vegetable stock. You can season the lentils now but pre-made stocks usually already have salt in them so I like to season after.
Cook until the lentils are tender on low heat, allowing them to soak in all those flavors. Meanwhile, make the black pepper yogurt and sizzled herbs. For the yogurt, use freshly cracked black pepper for the best results. For the sizzled herbs, I used dill and parsley but you can also substitute it with oregano, cilantro, or even basil.
Quickly blister some cherry tomatoes on a saute pan, poach some eggs and your meal is ready. Spread the black pepper yogurt on the bottom of the plate and pile on all the goodies. I had an idea in my head of what these Mediterranean braised lentils would taste like and let me tell you. This was beyond my expectations. The creamy yogurt balances the rich lentils with the runny eggs and the zesty herbs just finish it off. I could eat this every day and not get tired of lentils.
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