18 July 2021: Warm French Lentil Salad with Bacon and Herbs

We are not big meat-eaters in our household, but every so often I discover a recipe that while not meat-centric includes it. Such is the case here – 4 slices of thick cut bacon added to this warmed French lentil salad. For those who avoid meat at all times, there are no doubt substitutions that could be considered, but as we were celebrating Bastille Day this week (and focusing on Cuisiner à la française) we stuck with the bacon. I did deviate from cooking the lentils in chicken broth and substituted a mix of French rose wine and water.

The recipe calls for fresh herbs. Those fresh herbs release a remarkable flavor and make a huge difference in flavor. Otherwise it is a simple, quick and delicious meal.

Warm French Lentil Salad With Bacon & Fresh Herbs

Adapted from Faith Durand of TheKitchn

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 cup green or French lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth (See my headnote for change)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces bacon (about 4 thick-cut slices), cut into small pieces
  • 2 large shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
  • 3 large leaves sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped

For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Wash and rinse the lentils. Put in a small saucepan and cover with the chicken broth (or in my case, leftover white/rose wine + water). Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook until just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets low. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Stir in the salt.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy pan over medium heat until crispy. Drain most of the fat out of the pan, then add the shallots, garlic, rosemary, and sage, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the shallots are tender but not soft. Remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar together until thick. Toss with the warm, drained lentils, then stir in the bacon and shallot mixture. Stir in the chopped capers and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed, and a generous quantity of black pepper.
  4. Serve warm. This keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator and is also good eaten cold.

For Noomers (using the original recipe): 236 Calories, Fat 12 g, Carbs 23g, Fiber 4.1g, Sugar 3.4g, Protein 102 g, Sodium 318 mg

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