beluga lentils

beluga lentils are the darkest, tightest lentils we can find — like Du Puys (French) lentils, only more so.

This is a variation of Amanda’s (Amanda left our kitchen when she had baby Carly) Green Potato Salad with Cilantro and Spinach featured in our Blue Ribbon Edition cookbook. This time of year is perfect for potato salad, and including lentils adds loads of nutrition too. Try this recipe, you’ll love it!

Why cilantro? Because it tastes great, and because it’s said to help detox the liver. It’s also a good blood cleanser, and I like that cilantro is said to help stabilize blood sugar since potatoes have a high glycemic index. Potatoes are helped here, too, by lentils and olive oil.

Popeye loved spinach because it’s supposed to, according to Dr. Michael Murray, “restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of blood.” Spinach, he says, is one of the most alkaline of veggies and the richest in lutein, which is good for our eyes.


Serves 8

2 C water ½ C raw apple cider vinegar
1 C black beluga lentils 1 tsp Grains of Paradise or black pepper
2 pounds diced yellow potatoes, about 4C 1 tsp good salt
½ C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 lb spinach (any kind), bite-sized pieces
6 garlic cloves, pressed 1 big bunch cilantro, stems and all, chopped, about 2 C
juice of one lemon, abut ½ C  

In a medium pot with a cover, add water and lentils. Bring water to a boil, lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, just so lentils have some give when you bite them. In a second pot, put diced potatoes and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer, cover pot and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are easily poked with a knife (but not so soft that they are falling apart).

Drain lentils and potatoes. Add to a large mixing bowl. Gently warm EVOO and garlic in a small saucepan over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over lentils and potatoes and immediately add greens. Mix well. Greens will soften slightly and everything will be aromatic. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve warm or room temperature.