How Do French Lentils Differ from Regular Ones?

Those small French green lentils, the ones known as lentilles du Puy—how do they differ from the standard brown or green lentils? Recent talk on Chowhound broke it down.

French lentils take less time to cook and retain their shape better than ordinary lentils, blinknoodle says. There's also a subtle flavor difference: French lentils have a slightly flinty taste, earthy with a slight mineral edge.

Thanks to their firmer texture, French lentils are perfect for salads, like this one from CHOW (pictured). Sherri makes a lentil salad with green onions, parsley, diced or grated carrots, and toasted walnuts, dressed with walnut oil and sherry vinegar.

French green lentils are good in soups, like the one with vegetables and bacon that mwk makes. And they're a natural in hearty dishes like petit salé, a farmhouse stew of lentils simmered with ham hocks, sausages, and aromatic vegetables.

Discuss: Question about French Lentils

Photo by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com