Among a few staples that I keep in the cupboard, just in case a friend stays for supper, is a bag of lentils, one of the ingredients I always turn to when I need a last-minute dinner.
Lentils are an everyday staple from the Mediterranean to India. There is a Hindu proverb, “Rice is good, but lentils are my life.” As far as we know, they are one of the oldest domesticated ingredients on the planet.
Lentils don’t need to be soaked. When cooking them, use 2 cups of water to every cup of lentils. Bring the lentils and water to a boil and cover. Turn the heat to medium, and check for doneness in 20 minutes by tasting the lentils for tenderness. If they’re still firm, cook another 10 minutes and taste again. They usually don’t take longer than 30 minutes. Cooked cold lentils are good in salads and soups.
Be sure to read the cooking directions on the sausage you buy. If you are using raw pork sausages they need to be cooked thoroughly before adding them to the lentils. Most other sausages are precooked and need to be heated thoroughly.