Recipe: Warm Lentil Salad
I love me some lentils! They are extremely filling, savory and nutritious. For this recipe, I like to use the French Green lentils because they really hold their shape when cooked. Do not use red lentils, as they will turn into a pile of mush! This recipe is also easy to make vegetarian by omitting the bacon. A little bit of goat cheese might be a nice addition, as well. Enjoy!
Warm French Lentil Salad with Bacon & Herbs
Makes 4 3/4-cup servings
1 cup green or French lentils
2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces bacon (about 4 thick-cut slices), cut into small pieces
2 large shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 large leaves sage, minced
2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Wash and rinse the lentils. Put in a small saucepan and cover with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook until just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets low. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Stir in the salt.
Meanwhile, while the lentils are cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy pan over medium heat until crispy. Drain most of the fat out of the pan, then add the shallots, garlic and sage, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are tender but not soft. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar together until thick. Toss with the warm, drained lentils, then stir in the bacon and shallot mixture. Stir in the chopped capers and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Serve warm. This keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator and is also good eaten cold.