Traditional Greek Lentils

Traditional Greek Lentils
Created By: Nick Pitsilionis
Use: Caviar Black Lentils, Madeline French Green Lentils, Pardina Brown Lentils
Yields: 6-8 servings
30-minutes or less, Hearty, Vegan

Traditional Greek Lentils
Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Nick Pitsilionis of The Black Cypress

Note from Nick: Until recently, village life in Greece afforded home cooks precious little time and very elemental equipment with which to prepare healthy, hearty meals. Without measuring cups, sharp knives, and cutting boards, most meals, like this lentil recipe, were prepared in a single pot over an open flame with nothing more than the ingredients and the cook’s two hands. There’s a fitting irony in that with our hectic modern lives, the traditional approach to cooking honest, wholesome food makes as much sense now as it ever did.

For the lentils:

4 cups dried Caviar black lentils, rinsed and sorted. Remove any non-lentil material before cooking. (Substitute Madeline French green lentils or Pardina brown lentils if you don't have Caviar lentils.)

1-4 heads garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

4-12 bay leaves (depending on size and potency), preferably fresh (optional)

2 teaspoons salt

For finishing:

Extra virgin olive oil

Greek red wine vinegar (or your favorite dry red wine vinegar)



Rustic hard crusted bread, torn into pieces

Rinse and sort the dried lentils, then put them in a large pot with the bay leaves.

Peel garlic and add whole cloves to the pot with the lentils. Cover with an inch of water and boil until lentils are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Add water if needed. Add salt 5 minutes before you anticipate the lentils will be done cooking.

Ladle into bowls and provide all the finishing elements for your guests to adjust as they see fit.

Chef Nick Pitsilionis of The Black Cypress showcased this recipe on our Cooking Demo Stage at the 2013 National Lentil Festival. To learn more about Lentil Fest, please visit