I used walnut oil in this recipe, but a good olive oil will do. Walnut oil gives the salad a wonderful nutty flavor. Walnut oil is sold in small bottles because it doesn’t last long.
1 cup French lentils
3 cups water
3 small sprigs of thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 small carrot (for cooking)
3/4 cup finely diced carrots (to add to the salad)
1 tsp. salt
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
¼ cup walnut oil or olive oil
¼ cup chopped chives
1 TBS chopped fresh tarragon
1 small shallot (peeled and minced)
Additions to the salad
freshly ground pepper to taste
coarse sea salt to taste
1 TBS vinegar
1 celery rib (finely diced)
goat or feta cheese
Rinse the lentils and put them with the thyme, garlic, bay leaves, the carrot, water and 1 tsp. salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often.
Decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the diced carrots and simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook, as the lentils should still have a light crunch.
While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk the oil to emulsify. Add the shallots and fresh tarragon.
Drain the lentils well, discarding the thyme branches, the garlic, the whole carrot and the bay leaves. Combine the dressing with the warm lentils, mixing well, and let it cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally. Add the chives and the celery. Then add additional vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add goat or feta cheese before you serve the salad. The salad will last in the fridge for several days, but you may have to season the salad again.
Recipe by © sunnycovechef.com