All lentils are not created equal. Not in color, size nor texture both before and after cooking. I’ve heard so much about small French green lentil, that I decided to try them. I had regular green, and brown lentils in the pantry.There are also red and yellow lentils, but I hadn’t any in the pantry. You can see the color and size difference below.
The French ones are quite small and almost blue-green. The state sanctioned French petite lentils are called Le Puy lentils which is an official designation just as Champagne is. They are a bit more expensive than regular lentils but allegedly they hold together better when cooked and have superior flavor. I intended to find out for myself by making a classic warm lentil salad.
If you have a pressure cooker, use it! It’ll reduce cooking time by a third or more.
The addition of sautéed vegetables gives the salad more depth, and fresh green herbs are a bright contrast to the earthy lentils.
As this a salad, feel free to substitute what you have on hand, if you want a vegan meal omit the egg. Want more substance? Add some cooked chopped bacon. I bet some crumbled goat cheese, or shaved parmesan would be delicious too. Exact measurements are not crucial.
About the egg – I used an sous vide oil poached egg yolk, feel free to use a gently fried egg or a poached egg. Same delicious flavor, just a different texture.
Warm French Lentil Salad
1 medium carrot diced
1 large stalk of celery diced
3 green onions with root end removed – sliced (slice them all and reserve one for later)
1/2 sweet red bell pepper diced
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil plus more for drizzling
Pinch of salt
1 cup (250 ml) or a big handful chopped flat leaf parley
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fresh thyme leaves stripped from stems
1 egg – fried or poached
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon (5 ml) diced shallot
1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare lentils according to package directions, when finished, drain any remaining cooking liquid
- While lentils cook, in a sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until hot
- Add the carrot, celery, green onion, sweet red pepper to oil, add a pinch of salt and toss to coat
- Cook gently stirring or tossing often until vegetables are aromatic and softened but not browned
- When vegetables are cooked (about 7-10 minutes) remove from heat and set aside
- In a large bowl, combine shallots, mustard and red wine vinegar.
- Whisk to combine,
- Add olive oil in stream while whisking until dressing comes together.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Set aside, Whisk again just before using
- In the same bowl you made the dressing, add the lentils and the sautéed vegetables
- Fold together gently, and coat the lentils with dressing
- Add the parsley, rosemary, dill, thyme and reserved slice green onion
- Fold together again
- Taste and season with salt and pepper
Serve in a bowl with a fried or poached egg and toast points.
Drizzle with your best extra virgin olive oil to finish.
This was really good! Nutty, toothsome, satisfying. Give it a try!
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging.