Poor Poet’s Lentil Recipe from Devon Miller-Duggan

Here is a recipe from a wonderful cookbook–A Cookbook for Poor Poets– I found in a used bookstore (Parnassus) on Rte. 6A on Cape Cod.  The book itself is a wonderful memoir by Ann Rogers about the Provincetown art community in the glory days of the 50s and 60s. It’s a lovely read. Some of the recipes are a little outdated, and some of the relative prices of ingredients have changed radically, but many of the recipes are still delicious and practical. This lentil recipe is a consistent hit.


1 lb. lentils or split peas
3 large onions, choppped
3 T. butter
1/4 t. turmeric
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. allspice
1 t. salt
1 large apple, chopped (or 2, if you feel like it)

Soak the peas/lentils overnight, drain, add fresh water and cook until tender (about 30 minutes to an hour). Drain, but reserve some liquid. Brown the onions in butter (or oil, or oil and butter), add the seasonings and stir well. Now dump in the chopped apple and cook and stir until the apple is tender.  Mix well with the lentils/peas and reheat, adding liquid a little at a time if necessary. Serve with rice as a main dish. This is also a good side dish with lamb, pork or poultry.

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