Puy Lentils are a great ingredient to throw into salads for additional protein. They are exclusively cultivated in the region of Le Puy, Auvergne in central France where the rich volcanic soil gives the lentils their earthy flavor. (Look out for the AOC stamp which certifies that the Puy Lentils in your bag are the real thing.)
Once cooked, you can freeze your Puy lentils for upto 3 months. I recommend storing it in small batches so that you can easily defrost just the right amount for your Puy lentil salads. On average, 400g /14 oz of cooked Puy lentils is usually good as the base for a salad for 4-6 people.
[Note: These are general instructions which should work most of the time. It is recommended that you follow the instructions on your packaging if they differ from my instructions below.]
HOW TO COOK PUY LENTILS
1) Measure out 200g / 8 oz / 1 & a half cups of dried Puy lentils. Once cooked, the quantity will double.
2) Rinse your dried Puy lentils to remove any dirt or debris. You can simply rinse them in a bowl and then drain them. Alternatively, my preferred method is to pour the Puy lentils into a a small colander which I have placed into a bowl. I then fill the bowl with water, swish the lentils around with my hand and pick out any debris, and then lift the colander out of the bowl of water.
3) Put the Puy lentils into a pot and cover them with about 3 inches of cold water.
4) Bring the water up to the boil. As soon as it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a good simmer and cook uncovered. At this point, you can add seasonings. I like to add 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp of salt. Other options you could try include adding a sprig of thyme or rosemary, a cinnamon stick, or black peppercorns (however, I recommend removing black peppercorns before serving as they can be hard to distinguish from the Puy lentils).
5) Simmer the Puy lentils for 15-20 minutes. The Puy lentils should still have some bite to them. Drain the Puy lentils well and spread them on a platter to cool. Cooked Puy lentils can be frozen for upto 3 months. I recommend storing it in small batches so that you can easily defrost just the right amount for your Puy lentil salads. 400g / 14 oz of cooked Puy lentils is usually good as the base for a salad for 4-6 people.
Find Puy Lentil Salad recipes here!