Lentils are my go-to when I feel like I need to make more healthy choices in my diet. This legume is a source of insoluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol, and that promotes good heart and digestive health. Lentils have an earthy and nutty flavour and are hearty enough to eat alone as a main course.
This warm French lentil salad is easy to make, and the bacon, mustard, and shallots add a lot of flavour. The bacon was a huge selling point for me in the recipe because who doesn’t love bacon? Bacon makes everything better. Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case you can omit the bacon and this recipe will still be excellent.
You can eat this dish on its own or serve it as a side. Because of the bacon, it would pair really well with pork roast.
- 1 cup green or French lentils
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. bacon (about 4 slices), cut into small pieces
- 2 large shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
- 3 large leaves sage, minced
- 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Wash and rinse the lentils. In a small saucepan, cover and cook the lentils with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets too low. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Stir in the salt.
- While the lentils are cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy pan over medium heat until crispy. Drain most of the fat, then add the shallots, garlic, rosemary, and sage, and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are tender but not soft (about 2 to 3 minutes). 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, the chopped capers, and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
This salad keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator and is also good eaten cold.
Recipe and featured image source: http://www.thekitchn.com/