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.

three lentils

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
(serves 2)

INGREDIENTS
1 cup (250 ml) dried lentils
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
diced veggies

For the Dressing:
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon (5 ml) diced shallot
1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD
  1. Prepare lentils according to package directions, when finished, drain any remaining cooking liquid
  2. While lentils cook, in a sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until hot
  3. Add the carrot, celery, green onion, sweet red pepper to oil, add a pinch of salt and toss to coat
  4. Cook gently stirring or tossing often until vegetables are aromatic and softened but not browned
  5. When vegetables are cooked (about 7-10 minutes) remove from heat and set aside

Make dressing:

  1. In a large bowl, combine shallots, mustard and red wine vinegar.
  2. Whisk to combine,
  3. Add olive oil in stream while whisking until dressing comes together.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Set aside, Whisk again just before using

Assemble Salad:

  1. In the same bowl you made the dressing, add the lentils and the sautéed vegetables
  2. Fold together gently, and coat the lentils with dressing
  3. Add the parsley, rosemary, dill, thyme and reserved slice green onion
  4. Fold together again
  5. 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.

Lentil - Featured

This was really good! Nutty, toothsome, satisfying. Give it a try!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging.

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