Warm Spinach and Lentil Salad

Inspired by a little French bistro I went to last March in Manhattan. Been craving Le Puys ever since! And since I’ve yet to find a (authentic) little French bistro in Houston that serves lentil salad, I’ll just have to make my own. Adjustments I would try in the future: add bacon. Mmm..bacon. Stopped at the bacon isle today but resisted. I’ve got a wedding to go to in a few weeks. Must fit into bridesmaid dress…Anyway, I think a nice smokey bacon flavor would compliment this well. Without it, it’s just kind of tangy. Which is fine. But you know, bacon makes everything better, no?
Lentils: (makes a big bowl. 4-5 cups)
  • 1.5 cups green lentils (le Puy)
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley

Dressing:

  • < 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • << 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ~1/4-1/2 cup liquid from lentils

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. rinse lentils.
  2. put lentils, bay leaf, and crushed garlic in a ~3 qt pot and cover with water (submerge by at least 1-2 inches).
  3. bring to a simmer and cover for 30 min or until lentils are just soft.
  4. remove bay leaf and drain lentils when done, reserving the water. set aside.
  5. in pot, melt a pat of butter, or a little bit of olive oil, and saute shallots until soft. (i added an extra minced garlic. just ’cause i like garlic.)
  6. add spinach and saute until just wilted. remove from heat and mix in lentils. toss and combine.
  7. mix ingredients for dressing until emulsified. pour over lentils.
  8. serve warm (i served it as a side to a pan seared steelhead trout.)

yea. see that hole in the center? i almost took a bite before i realized, again, that i’d forgotten to take a picture. man. i’ve gotta stop doing that. note to self: stop waiting until you’re hungry to start cooking.

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