These small, deep green lentils with pretty turquoise marbling are prized for their excellent flavor and the fact that they hold their shape after cooking. True French lentils grow in a mountainous area in central France known as Le Puy (thus earning them the name "lentilles du Puy") and are said to get their slightly peppery flavor from the region's volcanic soils. The same variety is grown domestically on family farms in Northern Idaho. French lentils make a delicious side dish or bed for meats, fish or game. Try them seasoned simply with butter, salt and pepper. For more flavor, add a handful of finely chopped aromatics (such as onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and/or ham) to the pot at the start. You may also simmer the lentils in broth in place of water.
Makes about 2 cups