black pepper lentils

by isaac black

For what it’s worth, I improvised a green lentil recipe the other night. I was trying to come up with something that went well with a yellow lentil recipe that I really like (I’d post but it came from an Indian cookbook that I loaned out). I sauteed shiitake mushrooms in sesame oil while I was boiling/steaming my lentils, then combined the two. The result was kind of awful. I thought to throw in some black pepper though, and it rescued the dish. I threw in a little bit of sugar, which is very atypical of me, and it was pretty good, though I don’t think the sugar was necessary. I don’t know if I’m crazy about the shiitake in this; the recipe needs some work. But whatever:


Black Pepper Lentils

1 c. dry green lentils

1 c. chopped shiitake mushrooms

1 tbsp sesame oil


black pepper grinder


Rinse the lentils. Boil them in 2 c. water until the surface of the water is just the top of the lentils. Cover and turn the heat to low/medium-low for about 20 minutes (without opening the lid, I like to see if I can smell the lentils burning, just in case). While the lentils are boiling, in a sauce pan sautee the shiitake on medium-high heat in the sesame oil with a little bit of salt. When the lentils are done and the shiitake are sauteed, throw the lentils in the same pan with the mushrooms, add about 15 – 20 cranks of pepper and stir fry for a minute. Add salt to taste.