Petite Golden Lentils (Lens esculenta) are small firm, golden Lentil that is rounder in shape than many other types of lentils, one of of the reasons that this lentil holds its shape so well when cooked. Petite Golden Lentils are 1/2 cm. wide with a mild, earthly flavor and soft texture. This tiny lens shaped pulse has traditionally been used as a meat substitute (a pulse is the dried seed of any legume, such as beans and peas). Lentils are the seed of a small shrub and are dried after harvesting. Lentils have been eaten for over 8,000 years and originated in Southwestern Masa along the Indus River. They are a staple food for many South Asian cultures. The Latin word for Lentil, Lens, was used in the 17th century to describe eye glasses because of the similarity in shape.
The quick cooking and nutritious nature of lentils make them an obvious choice for winter soups. They are also good cooked and chilled for salads or mixed with bread crumbs to stuff vegetables. Blend lentils with middle eastern couscous and use as a bed for seafood or poultry.