How I love lentils. You can prepare them hot or cold, in a soup or in a salad. They are versatile, nutritious, and delicious. Lentils with potatoes, feta cheese and mint is a delicious one dish winter meal.
Most supermarkets carry common lentils-fine for this recipe. If I had my choice though, and you’re willing to spend a little more, try French “Le Puy” lentils as well as black lentils. Both are available online. Both are slightly smaller in size, but hold together better when cooked and have a distinct flavor.
I like to keep the lentils simple, cooking them with just some onion and garlic until soft, and then adding a little thyme and making sure they are properly seasoned once they are ready. The thyme just needs a few minutes to sit in the lentils before serving.
You will love the contrast of crunchy golden potatoes against the soft lentils and feta cheese. While I take a slightly longer route for preparing the potatoes, believe me, it’s worth it. And if you don’t want to spend that much time and make this an easier one dish meal, we also give you the easy and fast option in the recipe.
To make sure your potatoes are extra crispy, you’re going to want to do a quick boil of your chopped up potatoes first, then beat them up a little in the pan with some oil or butter so you get that starchy goodness loosened up. Then in the oven roast them on one side until completely browned before turning them over. Don’t force them loose, but let them release by themselves and you know they’re ready.
Ideally, you should use the Russet or Idaho potato for the good crisp exterior, and cut them up into small pieces to get the most external surface area.
To finish off the dish, sprinkle the feta on top, garnish with the mint leaves, and if you like, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil.
I made this recipe for the first time several years ago, and looked to whom I owe an attribution. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this specific recipe anywhere on the web nor in any of my cookbooks. So I hope it’s my original, but if it’s not and you come upon the source, please let me know so I can make the proper attribution.
- 1/2 pound lentils
- 3-4 teaspoon sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2dried thyme
- 1 cup chop onion
- 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- inch three Russet potatoes cut into 1squares
- 1/2 cup good quality crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
Gently saute the onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until translucent, add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Clean the lentils for any rocks or foreign matter. Place in a pan and cover with water or chicken stock and add onions and garlic. Cook, covered for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender and soft. Add additional liquid if needed. Season with salt and peper and add fresh thyme.
Preheat oven to 450° with a half size sheet pan in oven.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the chopped potatoes into the boiling water, and cook until outsides are just softening up.
Empty potatoes into a colander, making sure to drain off all the water. Return them to saucepan, and coat generously with 3-4 tablespoons oil. Be sure to toss them about roughly so that the external surfaces get loosened up a bit with from the softened exterior potato.
Place potatoes on hot sheet pan and cook until browned on one side. Turn potatoes when they are loose and ready to release and brown again on additional sides, until potatoes are all fully cooked.
To serve, place a portion in a bowl, place some roasted potatoes on top, sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with chopped mint leaves.
For a shortcut if you want a one dish meal (and don't mind missing the tasty roasted potatoes), just add the potatoes to your lentils so they cook together, and serve when ready!
You can also add some baby spinach or other mild greens to the lentils to cook them down gently, and add some additional nutrition to the dish.