Warm (French Green) Lentil SaladPosted: 03/26/2010
Long have I sung the praises of red lentils.
Now, it’s time to sing of French green ones.
Poke around your grocery store or gourmet shop and pick yourself up a bag of French green (Le Puy) lentils. You will be happy you did! They are a beauty to behold: plump, round, and a lovely speckled green. They have a delicious nutty flavor and hold their shape perfectly for spring and summer salads, like this one:
Warm Lentil Salad with Balsamic Dressing
from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles (a wonderful book!)
Makes 6 cups; serves 8 to 12 as a side dish, 4-6 as a main course
This makes an excellent main dish salad; serve on a bed of lettuce and top with crumbled feta cheese, if desired… You can also serve it at room temperature instead of warm.
3 cups water
1 cup lentils (Go French Green! Go French Green!)
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped celery (or fennel)
1 cup chopped apples
¾ cup chopped red or green bell peppers
½ cup chopped onions (You can sauté them if you don’t like raw onion flavor)
½ cup chopped dried apricots (I like the unsulfured kind)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons honey mustard or brown mustard
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Garnish: FETA (mmmm!), chopped walnuts (toasted or untoasted), parsley
In a 1 ½ quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the lentils and bay leaf. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain. Discard the bay leaf and place lentils in large bowl.
As the lentils cook, chop the vegetables. Add the celery, apples, bell peppers, onions, and apricots.
In a small bowl, stir/whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad, grind pepper on top, and toss to combine.
Eat as is, or over a bed of lettuce.
If desired, sprinkle with crumbled feta, chopped walnuts, and/or parsley.