- Pour some water into a medium-to-large saucepan (let it get halfway full), leaving a few inches at the top. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil.
- In the meantime, go over your lentils and remove any debris. You can do this by pouring the green lentils slowly into a fine-mesh strainer while keeping an eye out for any small rocks or other foreign objects. To ensure that you don’t miss anything, use your fingertips to sift gently over the lentils. Afterwards , under running water, rinse your lentils until the water comes out clean. Keep the lentils aside after rinsing them .
- Pour the rinsed lentils into the saucepan as soon as the water reaches a boil. Add the salt and, if using, the garlic and/or bay leaf.
- Adjust the timer to 13 minutes if you’re cooking ordinary green lentils. The timer should be set for 18 minutes if cooking French green lentils.
- Turn down the heat as needed to keep the cooking liquid from bubbling over and overflowing, and to keep a brisk simmer in the meantime. After the timer goes off, take a few lentils out with a fork and test to see if they’re done (be careful however, since they’ll be really hot). When your lentils are pleasantly soft and succulent throughout (they must not be mushy or falling apart) and have a wonderful earthy flavor, you’ll know that they are done (there’s a somewhat metallic-tasting quality to undercooked lentils). If your lentils aren’t done yet, check them every 1 to 2 minutes while you keep cooking them until they are.
- Strain off all of the excess water as soon as the lentils are done cooking. Remove the lentils from the heat and return them to the pot. If you used a bay leaf in your recipe, now is the time to remove it. If you used a garlic clove, break it against the edge of the saucepan with a fork before stirring the crushed bits into the cooked lentils.
- If required, season the lentil with one or two pinches of salt. If you’re going to use these lentils in another recipe, they can be used straight up at this point. If you’re serving the cooked lentils as is, or as part of a salad, drizzle them with 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil to keep them from sticking and to provide a rich flavor. Enjoy your meal afterward.
Green lentils taste delicious provided that they are cooked properly, and the best way to do this is to follow the right cooking instructions. Also take note that the entire cooking time for this recipe is 20 minutes, including a prep time of 5 minutes and a cook time of 15 minutes.
If you’d like to see more inspiration for green lentil recipes, then we recommend that you check out this video recipe.