Crispy Spiced Red Lentils, Burrata, Microgreens

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The red lentils in my pantry have been ignored for too long. I don’t have too much experience with lentils so I turned to the net and searched for a good recipe. But most of the choices were daals and stews which I wasn’t in the mood for. So I decided to try making crispy lentils a la Cobras & Matadors. They serve up a delicious crispy green lentils with serrano ham and scallion. The lentils are crispy around the edges and shriveled up from the oil bath. But I wanted my lentils to be crispy all the way through and since red lentils cook up faster than others I knew I would get the texture I was looking for.

I cooked the lentils in boiling water for 10 minutes then drained it well. I heated up about an inch olive oil and started frying them up. Meanwhile I sliced up a few slices of bacon and scallion. When the lentils were almost done, that would be crispy all the way through, I threw in the bacon and scallion so they could crisp up too. When they came out of the pan I drained it on a paper towel lined paper bag and seasoned with salt, paprika, curry powder, cayenne, and black pepper.

Now to compose the salad… what better than Gioia burrata? The lentils got a squeeze of lemon juice, the burrata a drizzle of delicious wild olive oil, and microgreens dressed simply with lemon juice and olive oil. The lentils were like lil mini chips and the crispy bacon and scallion were delicious. The texture and flavor contrast between the crispy spicy lentils and creamy milky burrata was great. Not to mention the pretty colors. The microgreens brought a bit of freshness to the plate. This salad was quite tasty.

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15 thoughts on “Crispy Spiced Red Lentils, Burrata, Microgreens

  1. i was going to ask you how you made the salad? it was so good. i enjoyed the crispiness of the lentils w/ the burrata (<~you know how i love that stuff)….

    i think i can eat this salad almost everyday…

  2. hi hannah, i think can eat the lentils by the spoonfuls. glad you enjoyed the salad!

    hi justin, thanks for being a loyal taster.

    hi ellen, purdy colors & purdy flavors.

  3. hi ofg, try the fried lentils! it’s so addicting. good thing i only made a small amount. if it weren’t for the high calories i would eat it every day.

  4. I visited Cobras y Matadors recently on my first trip to LA and LOVED the crispy lentils! I tried finding a recipe online and gave yours a go. By the second time around it was shaping up pretty well, but I’m having trouble draining the little buggers properly. I don’t want to gorge myself on ALL that savory oil, but the paper towels just shred and even my colander doesn’t finish the job. Any ideas? Thanks for sharing!

  5. hi mikey,
    yay i’m glad you love the lentils too. i drained the fried lentils on paper towel lined paper bag. i thought it drained pretty well bc the paper towel and paper bag tend to soak the oil up. also use a strainer when taking them out of the pan and let the excess drain oil drain off. good luck!

  6. Pingback: Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Turkey Kielbasa, Escarole, Carrot « immaeatchu

  7. At C&M’s, they include sherry in the recipe. At what point would you add this? If you saute at the end, would it cut all the olive oil and leave the lentils dry or sticky? I really love the wine/vinegar type flavor in this dish at the restaurant. Thanks!

    • hi jessie, i think you could add the sherry vinegar after you drain the lentils. if you just saute the lentils you won’t get the same amount of crispiness. if you don’t use red lentils you can probably get away with less oil but would still need about 1/4 inch probably. c&m told me they fry theirs in an inch of oil so it’s not actually sauteed like it says on their menu. try experimenting. maybe you might even be able to get some contrasting textures by roasting cooked lentils. thanks for reading!

  8. I LOVE the lentils at C&M (along with everything else there, but the crispy lentils are something I’ve never seen another restaurant come close to) and live across the country so I was craving them all the time until recently. I tried using your recipe and failed miserably. I had a bag of dry red lentils, I don’t know if they were somehow different than what was used in this recipe since other people seemed to have success but mine pretty much turned to mush the second I put them in the water to cook. I didn’t want to waste them so I made them into little cakes along with the bacon and scallions and onions and kind of fried them in the pan (almost like the socca cakes at C&M) which was ok but not what i was craving. A couple months later my dad found packets of fully cooked green lentils at trader joes which worked perfectly for this recipe! I don’t know if it’s just that I don’t have experience cooking lentils but these fully cooked green lentils seemed so much easier and are what they use anyway, so if you can find cooked ones in cans or packets if you don’t have trader joes i would recommend using that. Also if you find cooked ones skip the boiling step and go straight to cooking them in the pan with out. I just used onion and a packet of diced pancetta because i couldn’t remember that they used scallions. I cooked the onion in a little oil before adding the lentils and pancetta, and used a lot less than an inch of oil in the pan (a little more than needed to coat all the lentils so there was a little pool at the bottom) and they came out very crispy and delicious. I’ve used a mesh colander and paper towels and both worked fine to drain the oil, but it sounds like there wasn’t as much oil to drain in mine. I added a little garlic powder, cayenne, and a lot of salt but I might try using more of the spices you used next time and if I can figure out how they incorporate sherry i’ll give that a go. They are also plenty delicious having them by the spoonful without a salad, it feels a little too much like junk food this way but that’s how they serve it at C&M so thats my excuse. Thank you for giving me a jumping off point for this recipe, and for anyone else having trouble with red lentil or want to try something different try looking for cooked green lentils.

    • I saw those at Trader Joe’s and totally thought of this recipe! Will give them a try. Thanks for posting your trial and errors, super helpful.

  9. the lentils at cobras & matadors are my all-time favorite dish! I’ve tried to recreate them at home as well.. one thing I stumbled upon was tossing the crispy lentils & pancetta with a little balsamic or sherry reduction, rather than using straight vinegar. it gave that hint of sweetness that I love from cobras’ version

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