Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Lenticulam (Lentils With Leeks) Byzantine Recipe

Original Recipe:
Aliter Lenticulam (Lentils Another Way):
Apicius, #184

Cook the lentils, skim them, add leeks, green coriander; crush coriander seed, flea-bane, laser root, mint seed and rue seed moistened with vinegar; add honey, broth, vinegar, reduced must to taste; then oil, stirring until it is done, bind with roux, add green oil, sprinkle with pepper and serve. [Vehling, p. 128]




  • 2 cups lentils
  • dash salt
  • 1 large leek, sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried mint leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine, boiled to reduce by half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • bread crumbs or flour for thickening
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Preparation Steps:

  • Cook the lentils in boiling salted water until al dente, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain, rinse, and return to pot.
  • Add leeks and cilantro.
  • Grind together coriander seed, garlic, mint, celery seed, and 2 teaspoons vinegar, and add to pot.
  • Add honey, broth, remaining vinegar, reduced wine, and 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • Cook for an additional 30-40 minutes, until lentils are soft and leeks are cooked through.
  • If needed, thicken with bread crumbs or flour.
  • Remove to serving dish, drizzle remaining oil on top, and sprinkle with ground pepper.

Number of Servings:
Eight 1/3 cup servings.


  • Giacosa suggests garlic as a substitute for the now-extinct laser root.
  • The “flea-bane” has been omitted entirely from this redaction.
  • Mint leaves are substituted for mint seed, as the latter is not commercially available in food-grade quantities.
  • Rue has been found to cause some health problems, so celery seed is substituted for the rue seed.

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