Lentil Pilaf

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Jeremiah Tower Cooks

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2002

  • About

This pilaf method is one I prefer if the lentils are going to be eaten as they are. For soups, gratins, and purees, cook them in boiling water.


  • 1 cup lentils, de Puy, or beluga
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2–4 cups chicken stock, or water
  • 1 small herb bundle
  • ½ cup aromatic vegetable mix, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the butter in a 2-quart casserole. Add the onion and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cook while stirring for 5 minutes, until the lentils are well coated and slightly toasted.

Add the stock or water to cover the lentils by ½ inch, the herb bundle, vegetable mix, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cover the casserole. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a mere simmer, and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, taking care not to overcook them. The lentils should be tender but not mushy. Add more liquid if necessary.

Remove the lentils from the heat and leave covered for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and discard the herbs and vegetables. Season and cover again until needed.