Onion Lentils

Consider this your new go-to bean recipe. Lentils are everything you want in a bean — nutty in flavor, quick cooking, and able to absorb other flavors. When sautéing the onions, don't be afraid to really push for charred bits. Because they'll be boiling away for almost a half hour, they need to have maximum flavor. Yields 8 to 10 servings.


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided (½ + ¼)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. In a medium pot, sauté the onions, ½ teaspoon salt, sugar, and ground pepper in the olive oil. Cook until the onions are deeply browned and staring to char, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the water, scraping up any onion stuck to the bottom. Bring to a boil, then add the lentils and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste for doneness after 20 minutes.
  3. Strain well and return lentils to the hot pot off of the heat. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and vinegar. Toss well and taste for seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.