Cold french lentil salad

 

Ingredients:

1 cup brown lentils (I prefer "pardina" or "de puy" - they keep their shape better and don't get mushy)

1 1/2 cups cold water

2 teaspoons salt

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs thyme

2 shallots or 1/2 cup Vidalia or Spanish onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and diced small

2 large celery stalks, diced small

2 teaspoons thyme, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt

black pepper

 

Dressing:

 

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

salt

black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

 

Directions:

Rinse the lentils and pick through them to make sure there are no small stones or twigs. Put in a medium pot with the water, salt, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. After 15 minutes, taste for doneness. You do not want the lentiils to be too al dente, but you don't want too mushy either. Keep tasting every 4 minutes till its tender. Drain any excess water in a strainer and let it air dry in the strainer for an additional 20 minutes. Make sure to remove the bay leaves and thyme stems.

 

Heat a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 4 minutes. Add the carrot, celery and thyme with the last tablespoon of oil and another sprinkle of salt. Add a sprinkle of (fresh) black pepper. Turn off the flame.

 

Add the lentils to the pan and toss everything together so the lentils are really coated with the vegetable mixture.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the Dijon, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil drop by drop to form a cohesive emulsified dressing.  Dress the lentils 30 minutes before serving.

 

NOTE:

If you are preparing the lentils the day before make sure to take them out of the fridge 1 1/2 - 2 hours before serving so it isn't too cold when you are ready to eat.