We had this for dinner tonight. Its our most favourite salad around here to have as a side with a vegetable pattie or if Im feeling like a bit of meat, some duck. We usually also serve a green as well; brocollini, sauteed spinach or sometimes roasted beetroot and some goat curd on the salad. It really is a taste of France and sublimely wonderful. Im not usually a fan of cooked celery, but in this dish its really beautiful and the Dijon mustard ties the whole thing together.
2 cups french (du puy)lentils - the little lovely green ones
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
8 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, (i prefer spanish), diced
thyme, as much as you like
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
red wine vinegar
rock salt or salt flakes
Place the lentils, bay leaves, garlic, 8 cups of water and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils well, discarding the water, bay leaves and garlic. Transfer the hot lentils to a large bowl. Keep warm if possible. Alternatively, you can just use a can of lentils, but make sure they are the small french ones, the Indian lentils will taste muddy and become mushy.
Make vinegarette in small jar/pot with mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to proportions you prefer. Shake well. i use about 3:1 oil to vinegar.
Fry vegetables in olive oil until they reach the firmness you prefer adding thyme about half way into cooking. When vegetables are cooked to your liking, add lentils and stir through to warm then add the vinegarette. Stir until dressing is somewhat absorbed. 'Adjust' for seasonings (i LOVE that expression, 'adjust' for seasonings sounds so competent!, LOL) using rock salt or salt flakes.The crunch of the salt really makes the final zing of this salad.No pic as i really had to draw the line at whipping out the camera in front of the family and shooting the dinner. They already think im a bit blog nutty. didnt want to confirm it.
Let me know if you make this one, love to know what others think.