Tuesday, February 9, 2010

French Lentil Salad

Well, its been a few weeks since my last lentil post, and given that they're pretty much a staple around here the next was was bound to show up soon! This, though, is totally different. I'm kind of bored with my usual rotation of Indian-ish or Mexican-ish spices, so it was the perfect way to shake things up. It is also one of those things where you take the first bite and stop a second and go, wait, did I really make that?

This is hacked together as a combo of this recipe from epicurious and this one from userealbutter, and my own little tweaks.

1.5 cups lentils (I used regular green lentils. Red lentils are not recommended)
5 cups water
2 bay leaves

non-lentil warm stuff:
1/2-3/4c chopped carrot
1/2-3/4c chopped celery
one medium onion, chopped
1 Jenny-Oh low fat turkey kielbasa, cut in small pieces

1/4c olive oil
1/3c balsamic
1/3c white wine vinegar
(basically a lot of vinegar of your choice- could be all red wine. don't use all balsamic, it'll over power)
2 tablespoons mustard (I used grainy dijon)
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1.5-2tsp dry thyme
1 chopped garlic clove

a very big bunch of parsley (don't leave this out)

what to do with it:
-Boil lentils with bay leaves until done, but not mushy. Drain extra water.
-In the meantime, cook the veggies and sausage in a little bit of olive oil until browned and soft (carrots and celery can be a little crunchy)
-While that cooks, mix up vinaigrette ingredients.
-Mix it all together!
-Chop parsley, and stir in at the end, after you are done heating (this does not have to be served super hot, it can just be warm).

This was delicious as is, I mean, really delicious. It also went really quickly for a weeknight, because you can basically cook everything during the time the lentils cook, which is about 20 minutes. I'm not usually a sausage person, but it really worked here, and if you get the lowfat turkey kind, its pretty low guilt. I think you could also sub in smoked tofu if you wanted to veggie-fy it.

The next day I wanted it a little more veggie heavy, so heated up a portion of the lentil mixture, and added 2 large handfuls of rinsed chopped raw spinach. This was much more salad like and would make a really perfect lunch.


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