Excellent in salads or as an accompaniment to meats and sausages, lentils can also be cooked in the form of croquettes, soups and purées. An essential part of classic French cuisine, this vegetable also makes the palate travel through exotic recipes such as the famous Indian lentil dhal. From the Fabacae family, the lentil has many varieties. Among the best known are the green Puy lentil, the lighter Saint-Flour lentil, the green Berry lentil, with a hint of chestnut, and the very melting pink Champagne lentil. All of them can be grown without difficulty in the garden.
The lentil can be sown directly in the ground, in bunches of 5 to 6 seeds. The best time to grow them is in spring, from March to April, or in autumn in the mild climate of southern France. Fearing humidity, this vegetable appreciates sunny gardens and light, sandy and especially well-drained soils.
The lentil does not require specific maintenance or fertilization. For an optimal development, it is enough to hoe and weed the ground regularly, and to butter the plants when they reach ten centimeters. A support is also useful to allow the branches to progress in height instead of being damaged on the ground. As for watering, it is necessary in case of yellowing, wilting or high heat. As for the calendar, planting the lentil in spring allows it to be harvested four to six months later, between July and September.