I'm getting a little punchy with this everlasting snow - which is now up to the kitchen window sill. So, when my neighbor gave me some of these lentils the other day and I discovered they were known as "Beluga" lentils, well - I had to have a little fun, didn't I?
Given that today is Oscar day ( which I only watch to see the dresses), a lot of people are hosting parties, and this would be a fun surprise: trimmed hard boiled eggs ( using only the white) filled to the brim with tiny black lentils. Save a little of the hard boiled yolk to make it resemble caviar even more - or top with scallions, parsley, or little bits of tomatoes. Not using the yolks also makes it less aromatically eggy and there's no mayonnaise, so it's dairy free.
To make about 3/4ths of a cup of cooked lentils:
Hard boil six eggs, drain, and leave to soak in cool water.
1/2 cup tiny black "Beluga" lentils
a bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
water to cover the lentils plus a few inches
Bring the water, lentils, garlic, and bay leaf to a boil, turn down to a medium simmer/boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until lentils are cooked.
Drain the lentils and remove the garlic and bay leaf, then place the lentils in a bowl.
Add to the lentils:
2T. olive oil
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. ( or to taste) kosher salt
a few squeezes of Sriracha hot sauce
1 T. fresh lemon or lime juice
Peel the hard boiled eggs. Trim a tiny bit of the ends off so they'll sit upright.
Cut the trimmed eggs in half vertically.
Gently squeeze the eggs until the yolk pops out.
Fill the eggs with the lentil mixture, garnish with parsley, scallions, egg yolk, or your choice of garnish.
Keep chilled until about to serve.
If you have any leftovers, these would be a great brown-bag lunch!