Red Lentils with Green Olives

My mother in law, Mary, is a pretty outstanding cook. One of my favorite dishes she makes is Gandules (pigeon peas) which she learned to make from her mother, Mama.  While Mama was still alive I was fortunate enough to spend a day in the kitchen with her learning to make her version of this popular Puerto Rican dish.

Here in Seattle it is difficult to find pigeon peas (if you know where I may purchase them please let me know) and they are the one thing I ask Mary to bring from Florida when she comes to visit. Unfortunately, I have run out of my supply but had red lentils on hand so I tried making a similar recipe out of them.  They came out great. Hubby couldn’t get enough! Plus they are super simple.

NOTE: I made them as a side dish but it would be a great stew. For a stew I would triple the recipe.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red onion diced
4 cloves garlic pressed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 cup dry red lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
8 or more green olives and a tablespoon of their liquid (our fav are castelvetrano olives)

In a pot saute ingredients from onions to tomatoes in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add olives and liquid, cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until lentils are cooked. Cool so you don’t burn your tongue, and enjoy!

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4 Responses to Red Lentils with Green Olives

  1. Marni says:

    hi there! just made this recipe but I had to use 4 cups of veg broth because the lentils soaked up all the liquid. Did you have the same issue? I also added some tomato sauce to give it some extra oomph and a packet of Saazon, have you ever tried it? It’s delicious! Really enjoyed this recipe 🙂 thanks!!

    • Hi Marni 🙂 No when I made it, it didn’t absorb as much liquid as I had wanted. Tomato sauce is a good idea. Never heard of Saazon. What is it?

      • Marni says:

        Sazon are these little Latino spice packets which have cumin, coriander, and annatto. You can put Sazon in beans, rice, stews. It’s a Goya product, so I am not sure if it’s distributed nationwide; my sister lives in LA and can’t find any Goya products there but it’s huge here in the east coast.
        If you like Latino food you should also look into Sofrito, you can find a simple recipe on google and make stewed Spanish style beans….so delicious!

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