Vegetarians are no strangers to this tiny, lens-shaped legume. It has long been used as a meat substitute and is featured prominently in Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisine. Lentils are high in fiber and protein and are packed with nutrition. There are three main varieties – brown, reddish orange and yellow. Brown lentils, or European Lentils, are the most popular variety and is the main ingredient in Indian Dal, a spicy lentil soup. They can also be used to spruce up salads and stews. Check out our guide to this astonishing legume for delicious recipes and recommendations.

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Mason Jar Salads – Lentil and Herbs

The secret to this bright, crunchy salad-in-a-jar is to toss the cooked lentils with the vinaigrette while they’re still warm.  Slideshow: More Lentils
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Lentil Soup with Apple and Bacon

This pleasantly sweet-and-tangy lentil soup from chef Vivian Howard’s cookbook Deep Run Roots gets a little wake-up from the addition of diced Granny Smith apple right before serving. Howard also likes to swirl in fresh buttermilk to brighten up the rich lentils and bacon.  Slideshow: More Lentils Recipes
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Fried Spiced Red Lentils

F&W’s Kay Chun makes this dead-simple and addictive snack by pan-frying lentils and tossing them with salt, pepper and paprika. Slideshow: More Lentil Recipes
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Lentils with Smoked Sausage and Carrots

A good-quality, at least slightly hot mustard from France, Germany, or England is the perfect accompaniment for this. Put a dollop on your plate and dip each forkful into it. Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips
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