Sunday, July 5, 2009

Warm Lentil Salad

As you may recall in week 3 of cooking class, I made Warm Lentil Salad. It was good, but I didn't forsee myself making it again. The flavors didn't stand out to me, although I heard other people raving about them. In retrospect, I think I was distracted by the other dishes we prepared and frustrated over the minor difficulties I encountered making the salad.

Regardless, after making it for my Mom over Father's Day and discovering its rich flavor and pretty appearance (if you don't overcook the lentils) I want to make it all the time. It helps that the salad is fairly inexpensive and filling too. When Elizabeth and Megan requested salads or dips for their 4th of July Barbecue this was the first salad that came to mind, so I took a double portion, with slightly overdone lentils, thus the muddled texture, to their barbecue yesterday.

Given that I've now made this three times, a rareity, I had to share the recipe.

Warm Lentil Salad
Serves 6

1 c. French green lentils
1 small onion sudded with 3 cloves
1 bay leaf
3 c. water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. finely minced onion
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (your goal: the same size as the lentils)
2 tbsp. minced parsley
2 tbsp. minced chives
1 c. finely diced red pepper (your goal: the same size as the lentils)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, whole onion and bay leaf. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. (suggested way to handle the onion/cloves/bay leaf below.)

2. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are al dente, about 25 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and discard the bay leaf and the onion. Transfer the lentils to a bowl.

3. Add the oil, vinegar, minced onion, garlic, parsley, chives and red pepper to the lentils and stir. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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