I wanted something quick and easy for a late breakfast that would use some extra lentils I had in the cupboard, and this recipe seemed interesting. But after making it, I realized "interesting" is an understatement! It took me by complete surprise with how intricate the flavor is. The tomato puree lends a sweetness, and the arugula adds an earthy bite that keeps it from being too sweet. Far more flavorful than I expected, and full of texture, this dish made for one great brunch.
I loved the fried egg on top, making it more a breakfast meal, but I would definitely eat just the lentils on their own as a side at any meal.
Because it takes awhile to simmer the lentils in the sauce and cook them properly, it would be a great idea to make the lentils without arugula ahead of time — perhaps even doubling the recipe so you can have leftovers throughout the week. When you're ready to enjoy a dish, heat a serving of lentils, toss in the arugula to wilt, and top it with a fried egg to make essentially the whole meal in about five minutes. Cooking ahead allows you to enjoy this elegant and hearty dish as fast breakfast food.
This recipe is from The Globe and Mail.

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 50 minutes 

Yield: 4 servings

Spiced Lentils with Arugula and Fried Eggs


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1.5 cups green lentils
  • 3/4 cup tomato purée
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp minced chives for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium soup pot over medium heat, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and celery, and cook until the vegetables are just barely softened.
  2. Add the lentils, tomato purée, vegetable stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring everything to a low boil. Turn heat to low and let the mixture gently simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and most, but not all, of the liquid is absorbed. Check periodically at the level of cooking liquid and add more stock if the lentils are soaking it up too quickly as they cook. You should have enough liquid for the lentils to cook and still have a bit of a sauce. lentils
  3. When the lentils are cooked, turn off the heat and add the arugula. Stir and allow it to sit until the greens are just barely wilted.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add your eggs and fry until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny (or, of course, fry them however you most like your eggs).
  5. Spoon the hot lentils onto a plate, and gently slide a fried egg onto the top of the pile. lentils on plate
  6. Sprinkle with chives for garnish, serve and enjoy!lentils with egg

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Spiced Lentils with Arugula and Fried Eggs
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