What are the differences among the various types of lentils?
Lentils are weeknight dinner champs. They’re pulses (edible seeds), just like black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas, but their tiny size means they can cook in as little as 15 to 20 minutes and there’s no need for an overnight soak. That said, for salads and side dishes, we like to brine green and black lentils in warm salted water for an hour before cooking to season them thoroughly and to soften their skins, which leads to fewer blowouts (brining is not necessary for lentil soups).
Here are the four types of lentils you’ll find most often at the supermarket and their differences.