Ragout of Beluga Lentils from the James Beard House

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins

From Leite's Culinaria http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipes/jbh/beluga_lentils.html (by Brian Alberg from Terra Mar Grille Saybrook Point Inn & Spa Saybrook, CT) Beluga lentils are small, plump black lentils that are available in specialty gourmet stores. They have a delicate flavor and a slightly firmer texture than small, green French lentils. Though this dish was served alongside Brian Alberg's roasted baby chicken with foie gras stuffing, it is a simple, elegant accompaniment for a multitude of basic dishes. Our recipe tester served it with roasted cod and tomato sauce and was pleased with the way the lentils, fragrant with smoky bacon and herbs, paired with the sturdy baked fish. To increase the yield, simply double or triple the ingredients proportionately.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a sauté pan or shallow saucepan, cook the bacon until all of the fat has rendered.
  2. Add the garlic, fennel, carrots, shallots, and thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  3. Add the lentils and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, or until heated through.
  4. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are fully cooked, add water in small increments.
  5. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Most Helpful

This is delicious, even though I used French lentils instead of the Beluga variety. I mixed the ragout with orzo, and my family loved it. Next time, I think I will cook the bacon slices, then dice them. I found dicing the raw bacon to be tedious. Overall, though, this is an excellent dish.

tednjoc July 24, 2011

Oh my goodness!! No wonder they call these the caviar of lentils, not only do they look like caviar, they taste so wonderful!!! The black lentils are more meaty and flavorful and with these ingredients they are just enhanced even more!!! This is really a spectacular dish!!! Thanks so much for posting, will make again!!!!

Chef*Lee May 31, 2009