I think that French lentils are best. They retain shape when cooked, and have a pleasant peppery, earthy flavor. When pandemic was starting, everyone was going for rice and pasta, but lentils were almost untouched, despite keeping just as well and being far more nutritious.
I stacked up on them and have been slowly making my way through the excess. Usually I cook up a batch and eat them over few days. When cooking I add mirepoix, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. If I happen to have some homemade stock or bouillon cube I add it too.
My go to uses are:
>Bowl of lentils topped with herbs or fresh green vegetables
>As a side for meat instead of starches like potatoes or rice
>To thicken and enrich stews, good to add protein and more flavor to a "vegan chilli" for example
>Cold in salads
>Cooked until they turn into a creamy soup
My go to recipe is a lentil salad. All you need are pre-cooked lentils, carrots, celery, onion, mustard, olive oil, and lemon. All of these ingredients keep well and most people have them on hand. I use one cup of vegetables per two cups of lentils. Fresh herbs are very good to top the salad; parsley or chives work best in my opinion, but scallions work well too.
For fat, goat cheese is my favorite here, but fresh mozzarella, avocado, or even an extra potion of olive oil will work well too.
Recipe is simple:
>Dice carrots, celery, onion. You can saute them a bit, but that's optional.
>Mix vegetables in a bowl with precooked lentils.
>Mix in a table spoon of mustard and a tablespoon of olive oil
>Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, mix it
>Add portion of herbs and fat of your choice, mix it
>Top with remaining herbs and serve
As most salads, this can be easily customized. It's pretty easy to come up with your own versions.