Originally from North Africa and Asia, this cousin of the pea was one of the world’s first cultivated crops. Requiring little water to grow, lentils have a carbon footprint 43 times lower than that of beef.
There are dozens of varieties, all with slightly different earthy, peppery or sweet flavours. Lentils are packed with protein, fibre and carbohydrates. Puy lentils keep their shape and texture after cooking and are often served with fish or roasted vegetables. Red and yellow lentils dissolve into a rich purée and are delicious mixed into stews, curries and soups. They are also used to make veggie burgers. All lentils are simple to cook; pre-soak if necessary, then boil in water or stock/broth (three to one ratio of water to lentils) for 15 to 20 minutes for whole lentils and five to seven minutes for split lentils.