LEGUMES. You might think that dried split peas or lentils are all the same because they look the same, and consequently will all cook up the same. Not true. Split peas are as different as any other vegetable is to its own kind. Not all tomatoes are the same, so why should we expect all legumes to be the same? Some lentils, for instance, take a shorter time to cook than other lentils. Some are more tender, moist, flavorful and fragrant. It’s the nature of all grown food. So, the pea soup that cooked in one hour this week, may take one and a half hours or more next month, when using peas from a different harvest.
When cooking legumes or any dried bean, don’t add salt to the water until the legume/bean is thoroughly cooked to your liking. It’s not the same as cooking pasta.
Once the legume/bean is plump, adding salt will not draw moisture from the legume/bean.
Adding salt before they’re plump will lengthen cooking time, as the salt simultaneously tries to draw liquid from the legume/bean as the legume/bean is trying to draw the water into them.
Posted in: CHEF ASSISTANT: