Quick recipes based on legumes are a big part of my diet, and I find that it is a category that is a little shunned, especially among recent vegetarians who prefer eggs.
Let’s give legumes back all their power of seduction, let’s make a very ugly dish of lentils (I’m not a magician blogger) but full of flavors.
Which cream to choose to replace fresh cream?
Vast debate if there is one, on the very name of the vegetable “cream”. I don’t even know where the debate on the subject is at European level.
We are obviously talking here about anything that is intended to replace fresh cream or liquid cream.
In fact, the alternatives found in the supermarket that are supposed to fulfill this role are rarely fermented.
In fact, the taste is less pronounced.
This is not the option I have chosen, but I advise you if you miss it, to add a little soy yoghurt in your preparation: it will bring this acidulous touch typical of fermented products.
As always, I strongly advise against the cream of rice, which is anything but cream.
My two big favorites are the soy cream, which is a real must have in the kitchen, very versatile, inexpensive, grown and made in France.
And then a big crush on the cashew nut cream, which I rarely use both for its distant origin, but also for the ethical concerns it raises (the information on the mode of cultivation being rarely displayed in clear text) .
Its taste is different, and if raw it has a slightly “past” flavor and not necessarily very pleasant, its fatty and slightly salty side (wary on the seasoning of the blow), gives it my preferences in dishes with sauce.
The choice of lenses
Depending on the time you have ahead of you, I advise you to use either beluga lentils or green lentils to make this creamed lentil recipe. The others will tend to be fragile when cooked, and not to give the same result, their skin being less thick.
In addition to the choice of lentils, it is very important to cook over low heat and not too long. Otherwise, we get mashed lentils, exploded grains and an unpleasant texture in the mouth, mealy.
In order to guard against this unpleasant effect, I undercook them slightly for this type of recipe where they tend to iron warm afterwards. I had already shared with you a delicious recipe for lentil soup with tomato sauce. If you like lentils or would like to learn how to make them, this is also a very good recipe. And I’m not saying that because I wrote it and posted it on this blog.
How do I flavor my vegan lentils?
Crème fraîche has a very strong flavor in the mouth: you can smell the cow in it.
Vegetable creams or any other alternative will not have this taste since they are not made from a cow’s udder.
I find it useless to give you false hopes on this subject.
On the other hand, as a bonus to a sometimes hazardous texture, you can also under-season your lentils and find that it lacks relief, taste, in short, interest.
The base lentil has a rather earthy flavor, which I love. To give it a bit of roundness and complexity, there’s no need to look for improbable, expensive or complicated ingredients. A classic kitchen cupboard might just give you the best lenses of your life. (I weigh everything in my recipes except my words)
I add a bay leaf or two to my cooking water (it mostly depends on the size of the leaf). Once the lentils are cooked al dente, I fry finely chopped shallots in a little olive oil.
Once they are very translucent, I add my cooked and drained lentils, I sauté for a few moments with the bay leaves. I find that it develops the aromas. And then I add the cream. I let come back over very low heat just long enough for it to be well bound, and I eat.
For even more indulgence, you can deglaze the shallots with a little alcohol (white wine, armagnac, cognac, etc.), but also add a little fresh chives or parsley.
These cream lenses will go very well with potatoesa vegan omelet or pan-fried chard.
Vegan cream lentils
- 120 g green lentils floods
- 1 Bay leaf 2 if they are small
- 15 key soy cream or cashew nuts
- 50 g shallot
- 1 vs. soup olive oil
- salt and pepper
Fill a pot with water, then drop your lentils in with the bay leaf.
Bring to a boil and time 17 to 20 minutes depending on your lentils (if you take beluga lentils, refer to the instructions by removing a few minutes from cooking). The lentils must be cooked but above all not burst. To avoid this, also think of now a small broth and not a big boil, which tends to damage them.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and brown the finely chopped shallots and a pinch of salt. If you wish, you can add a dash of alcohol to deglaze, to add a little complexity.
Then add your lentils to the pan and fry for a few minutes.
Then add the cream, lowering the heat, then continue cooking for a few minutes, just long enough to reduce and thicken.
Salt and pepper and serve. You can add parsley or chives.
I find this recipe even better reheated, after having been kept cool with the bay leaf. The flavor permeates the cream well, it’s delicious.