Trader Joe's used to sell black beluga lentils all the time. My best friend and I would make this delicious lentil soup during our weekly dinner hangout/Office viewings- usually even enough for lunch leftovers. Then they stopped carrying the lentils, and I haven't seen them anywhere since. I found some at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago, and they were calling to me to try out in this recipe from Vegetarian Times. The original uses French lentils- either brown ones, or those little green Puy ones. I totally recommend these black ones, if you can find them.
Black Lentils with Goat Cheese and Herbs
adapted from Vegetarian Times
1 c. lentils, rinsed and drained (note the tiny strainer down there)
1 c. brown rice
3 c. vegetable broth
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. loosely packed mint leaves, thinly sliced
zest from 1 lemon
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
2 Tbsp. olive oil
juice from half of a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
salt and pepper
In a large pot, rinse your rice until the water runs clear. I am bad at measuring water to cook rice, so if you are really particular about that, you may want to consult the package for exactly how much water to use. I covered the rinsed rice with the broth, and added probably another cup of water to the mix. (I like to have about twice as much liquid as rice, overall.) Bring the water to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes, then add the rinsed lentils.
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
Chop up the zucchini, and fry it in a small pan with the olive oil. You could also add some onion here if you wanted to, but I was out! Add the lemon zest and mint. Cook for a few minutes, until the zucchini softens and gets some char marks on it.
When the lentils and rice have finished cooking, stir in the dressing. (I did it this way so that the garlic would cook a little bit before you eat it.) Add the zucchini/mint, and stir. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and fold it in just a little bit. Serve with salt and pepper!