Warm Lentils with Vinaigrette
Most lentils sold in France are small, flat and green, with the tiny lentils of Le Puy the most prized variety. The rustic legumes are prepared in a variety of ways: tossed while still warm with a mustard-flavored vinaigrette, dressed with truffle shavings for serving alongside duck or grilled salmon, or combined with onion and other aromatics for a cold-weather soup. Or, they might be fashioned into a full meal by simmering them with sausages, such as saucisses de Toulouse, petit salé (lightly cured pork), rabbit or partridge.
These lentils are delicious served warm with duck confit or roasted pork tenderloin.
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
- 1⁄2 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1⁄2 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar, or to taste
Drain the lentils, reserving 2 Tbs. of the cooking liquid; discard the remaining liquid. Place the lentils and the reserved cooking liquid in a serving bowl. Add the remaining shallots and garlic and the parsley to the hot lentils and stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World Series, Paris, by Marlena Spieler (Oxmoor House, 2004).