Recipe Flash: BBQ Lentils

Posted by on Wednesday Apr 22nd, 2009 | Print

Barbecue Lentils
Serves 2-3

These lentils are well-seasoned—tangy and spicy—with the flavors of the summertime grill. I served them as a bed for some simple grilled fish and sauteed spinach, but I think they’d be great over toast as a homey vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

1/2 cup black or green lentils
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 1 whole
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 small sweet potato, diced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch ground ginger
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
dash Worcestershire sauce

Bring the lentils to a boil with 3 cups of water and the whole clove of garlic. Simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are soft but hold their shape. Toward the end of cooking, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and minced garlic and saute until soft and slightly brown. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cayenne and ginger, stirring to coat the vegetables, then add the ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a simmer. Drain the lentils, reserving the cooking water, and add them and about 1/2 cup of cooking water to the pan. Keep simmering until the sauce coats the lentils and is no longer soupy. Taste for balance of flavors, adding more sugar or vinegar if necessary.

Enjoy alongside a simple fish filet or atop a piece of crusty, wholegrain bread.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK


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  • Sara Bennett

    You’re really getting me out of my old cooking rut. I made the lentils tonight and put them over leftover mashed potatoes (vegan). Delicious! I have to say, though, that I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with ketchup before and I can’t decide whether I’ll do that again. Maybe it’s just a little too low-brow?

  • Kate

    These sound DELICIOUS! And tasty, which is my current standard of good food because I cannot taste anything at all. Could they be featured in my welcome home dinner?

    Could they be served as a main course, like baked beans? what would you suggest as sides if you were?

  • Phoebe and Cara, the Quarter-Life Cooks

    Sara, you’ve hit upon my insecurity vis-a-vis my ketchup obsession. I think it’s such a promising condiment–sweet, sour, etc.–but I do find it kind of lowbrow. My solution? I’ve started making homemade ketchup aka tomato chutney. I make it in my slow cooker, and though it’s slightly different-tasting than Heinz, it satisfies the same need. We’ll post about it soon!

    Kate, see above: mashed potatoes would be nice with the lentils, with some hearty greens (like Broc Rabe or Kale) sauteed on the side. Or, try them atop some crusty toast.

  • Jaime and Jen DISH

    Wow, this sounds delish! I love lentils as well as BBQ sauce, so I must try!

    Fellow Food Blogger,

    Jenifer

  • Sara Bennett

    So…. I made those lentils again last night, ketchup (not homemade) and all. Just as delicious as last time.

  • Elsa
  • brenda

    How can ketchup be low-brow? Love this lentil recipe. Thank you Girls!

  • Erica

    I made this tonight (using store-bought BBQ sauce… I know, I know) and found that the sweet potatoes took a while to soften; definitely more than five minutes.  I eventually had to add a little water to the pan and cover it to steam them into submission.  Why do you think this happened?  The dish still turned out great though!  I piled it on toast as you suggested and found myself wanting to eat the whole thing!  (Don’t worry, I didn’t.)

  • Erica

    I made this tonight (using store-bought BBQ sauce… I know, I know) and found that the sweet potatoes took a while to soften; definitely more than five minutes.  I eventually had to add a little water to the pan and cover it to steam them into submission.  Why do you think this happened?  The dish still turned out great though!  I piled it on toast as you suggested and found myself wanting to eat the whole thing!  (Don’t worry, I didn’t.)

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      It all depends on how you cut the sweet potatoes–when I make this, I cut them really tiny, like almost the size of lentils! Glad you enjoyed it…yum!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      It all depends on how you cut the sweet potatoes–when I make this, I cut them really tiny, like almost the size of lentils! Glad you enjoyed it…yum!

  • guest

    My dinner guests raved about these. I didn’t have balsamic vinegar so I used red wine vinegar. Gave it a yummy tang. I just saw the note about dicing the sweet potato to the size of the lentils…I’ll do that next time. I think it would be visually more pleasing.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Glad to hear you and your guests enjoyed!

  • OP

    I love vinegar, but still thought this way way too vinegar-y.