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Lentil, Bacon and Frisée Salad

The remaining vinaigrette may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This classic mustard vinaigrette is extremely versatile. Make a double batch so you have it at the ready. Use it to drizzle over sliced tomatoes and avocado, or toss with your favorite mixed baby salad greens.

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 shallots, 1 sliced and 2 minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bunch frisée, tough stems removed

Directions:

Make the vinaigrette and cook the bacon
In a blender, combine the garlic, sliced shallot, vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. (You will have more vinaigrette than you will need for the lentil salad; store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

Cook the lentils
Return the saucepan to low heat, add the minced shallots to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lentils, broth and enough water just to cover the lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Add a little more water if the lentils become too dry. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Immediately add half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine.

Assemble the salad
Scatter the frisée on individual plates and spoon the lentils over the top. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salads, sprinkle with the bacon and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).