Canned lentils take trouble out of eating legumes

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Face it, lentils are like dried beans. Most people aren't going to bother.

Lentils can be a flavorful addition to many entrees and using canned makes the process quick and easy. Try adding lentils to your diet with this lentil salad with peppers and anchovies which comes from Jose Pizarros's new cookbook "Seasonal Spanish Food."  Larry Crowe/Associated Press
Larry Crowe/Associated Press
Lentils can be a flavorful addition to many entrees and using canned makes the process quick and easy. Try adding lentils to your diet with this lentil salad with peppers and anchovies which comes from Jose Pizarros's new cookbook "Seasonal Spanish Food."

That's a shame, because they can be a flavorful addition to soups, stews, casseroles and even salads, as in this recipe from Jose Pizarro's new cookbook, "Seasonal Spanish Food."

But canned lentils can be an easy workaround. The quality generally is good and the taste is fine. If there is salt in the canning liquid (check the label), reduce the amount of salt added to the recipe.

LENTIL SALAD WITH PEPPERS AND ANCHOVIES

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

  • Two 15-ounce can cooked lentils, rinsed
  • 6 ounces piquillo or roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed (brine-packed capers also can be used)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cabernet red wine vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Handful of mixed fresh herbs, such as mint, chervil and flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 18 oil-packed anchovy fillets

In a medium bowl, mix the lentils, peppers, onion and capers.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture, tossing gently. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix in the fresh herbs, then divide between serving plates. Top with anchovies.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 231 calories; 96 calories from fat; 11 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 10 g fiber; 954 mg sodium.

(Recipe adapted from Jose Pizarro's "Seasonal Spanish Food," Kyle Books, 2010)

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