“There were also salted peas and lentils as well as bowls of past-ripe tomatoes and pears. Poor stuff, in truth, but in a quantity and variety most of the Catchfire orphans had never seen before.”
–The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
This is just the sort of warm, inexpensive dish that would fill the bellies of hungry children, and help win their trust.
There’s just a slight tang from the balsamic, which deepens the earthiness of the lentils. The salt, especially smoked salt, gives the legumes a simple flavor that the Catchfire orphans might not have previously enjoyed on scraps scrounged where they might.
Although the vibrant colors of the lentils and peas is muted somewhat after cooking, there’s still a bit of variation left, as you can see above; The chives help bring out the green of the peas.
All in all, this is a hearty side dish for a main meal, or a larger component of a bag lunch.
Recipe for Salted Peas and Lentils
Cooking: 30-40 minutes
Makes: about 6 cups cooked (it’s a lot!)
Cook’s Notes: This recipe makes so much that you may want to cut it in half.
- 1 cup split green peas
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly smashed
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- (beef bouillon, to taste)
- 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. salt for garnish (smoked salt is ideal)
- 1-2 Tbs. chives, chopped thin
Cover the peas and lentils with 3″ of salted water (adding some bouillon if you like), and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender. Keep an eye on the level of liquid, adding more if needed. Drain. Toss with balsamic and olive oil, as well as extra salt to taste.
Top with sliced chives, and serve.