Saturday, December 11, 2010

Black Lentil and Speck Crostini

Huan from Eat.Read.Live is back to host this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I've found Black Lentils.

Mt Byron Black Lentil© by Haalo

These are specifically Mt Bryon Black Lentils which unfortunately are not the same as Beluga Black Lentils. When cooked these lentils will change colour to dark brown. One of the selling points are that they are quick to cook - the website and the packet will tell you that it is somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes but I found I needed at least 30 minutes to get them to al dente stage.

For the recipe I've taken the simple approach as I want to make the lentils the focus of the dish. Most legumes have an affinity with cured meat and for this dish, I've used speck - a smoked and cured pork product. The lentils are cooked in a mix of sautéed onion and speck and chicken stock before becoming a flavoursome topping for crostini.

Black Lentil and Speck Crostini© by Haalo

Mt Byron Black Lentil and Speck Crostini
[Enough for 8 crostini]
1 small red onion, diced finely
50 grams speck, cut into lardons
½ cup black lentils, rinsed
chicken stock (or vegetable)
sea salt and finely ground white pepper
toasted slices of baguette, for crostini

Sauté the speck until golden before adding the onion, reduce the heat and cook slowly until the onion has softened. Add the lentils, stir to mix through before adding enough stock to just cover the mixture. Simmer until the lentils have softened - you'll find that you'll need to top up the stock a couple times. Taste and season with sea salt and white pepper if desired.

To serve:
Generously top the crostini with lentil mixture. These are best served hot or warm.

Black Lentil and Speck Crostini© by Haalo

If you're wishing to add another layer of flavour, spread a little goat cheese on the crostini before topping with lentils.


  1. I would have been a bit disappointed about the change of color. I have some black lentils I brought back from Italy and i am wondering what will happen to their color when I finally get around to cook them. In any case, your crostini look very nice. I like the pairing with speck.

  2. Those lentils are beautiful. I like the color they turn after they're cooked. I notice that they stay whole instead of falling apart like some varieties. That would make them nice for a salad also.

  3. Oh my! This one really looks so lovely! I can't wait to try this one! Thanks a lot.

  4. I just checked my lentils, and realize I have French brown, some golden, orange and green ones. Now black is necessary. Though your recipe would probably be really good with any of the colors.

  5. Thanks Simona - if they are the black beluga lentils then they won't lose their colour. Although these did change colour, they didn't dissolve into mush which is a bonus

    Thanks Claire - they do retain a bite which is really pleasant and can see them being used in lots of different dishes.

    Thanks Claudia - I think you could easily substitute these with puy lentils as they also tend to hold their shape


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