Who says only beans get to be refried?
Refried lentils is the result of a Desperation Dinner one night when I was craving tostadas and had no beans in the pantry. I thought, why NOT lentils?
Lentils are much easier to use than beans – no overnight soaking, draining, planning ahead. Lentils can be cooked up in just minutes, and are earthy and delicious. And not as starchy as beans.
I cooked them until very soft and then mashed them with a fork. Then, I heated oil and spices in a skillet and added the mashed lentils in a thin layer and let them cook until lightly browned on the bottom. I turned them over in batches, adding texture and more browned exteriors.
They didn’t hold together well, unlike beans, which are more starchy. So, I added a little sour cream for texture and richness and a little Monterey jack cheese as the “glue” to hold the lentil mixture together.
This is a “Must Make Again” surprise success!
— posted by Donna
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 ready-to-eat tostada shells
- 2 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- ½ cup thinly sliced green onions, tops included
- ¼ cup favorite salsa (such as roasted tomato salsa)
- ¼ cup diced cilantro
- Bring the lentils and 3½ cups of broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until lentils are very soft. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Mash with a fork until very small bits. Stir in soy sauce, garlic powder and cayenne pepper sauce.
- In a large skillet, heat oil to medium high heat. Add in cumin and chili powder and let cook in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in lentil mixture, spreading to form a thin layer covering the surface of the skillet. Let cook for about 3 minutes, until browned on bottom. Break up the lentil mixture with a spatula and flip over the lentil mixture in chunks, flattening to cover entire surface of skillet again. Let cook until browned on that side. Turn off heat and add in some of the remaining ½ cup of broth, until lentil mixture is the consistency of refried beans. Stir in sour cream and Monterey jack cheese until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- Spread ¼ of lentil mixture on a tostada shell. Top with remaining ingredients sprinkled on top. Repeat three times for a total of four tostadas.