All the lentils and beans used at San Francisco's Bar Tartine--and many of the seeds as well--are sprouted. "It makes them easily digestible," says chef Cortney Burns. "Soups made with sprouted lentils are lighter. Also, the lentils retain their shape better." Sprouted lentils can be eaten raw, too, in salads, sandwiches, soups--wherever you'd like them to go.
1 1/4 cups black (beluga) lentils*
How to Make It
Put lentils in a large plastic container with a wide-mouth top and pour in 3 cups cold water. Stir to ensure an even soak. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band around the rim. Soak at room temperature 12 hours.
Invert container and let water drain; then let drained beans stand in pitcher at room temperature 8 hours.
Rinse beans with cold water 3 times a day until all have sprouted (grown threadlike shoots), 2 or 3 days. (Putting them under a heat lamp speeds up the sprouting.) Rinse one last time, dry quickly with clean kitchen towels, and chill, covered.
*Find beluga lentils at well-stocked grocery stores and online.