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Perfect Picnic Fare: Puy Lentils in Dijon Vinaigrette

Posted by Chelsea Ballantyne on


makes about 4 (3/4 cup) servings  

These tart lentils make a lovely side dish, served warm or at room temperature. Feel free to tinker with the addition of chopped cooked or raw vegetables.  

*For a vegetarian version, switch out the chicken stock for vegetable and the bacon for smoked tofu, eliminating the anchovies.


1 cup Puy lentils (also called green or French lentils)

2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed  

3/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (or a combination of both)

3/4 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts)

4 slices cooked bacon, roughly chopped

3 green onions, sliced thinly

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 cup crème fraîche, sour cream or yogurt  


1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 anchovies, rinsed and roughly chopped, optional

1/4 cup mild vegetable oil, such as grapeseed oil

Rinse the lentils under cold water and discard any debris.

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until cooked through, about 20 - 30 minutes. Add additional stock as necessary to keep the lentils covered.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, capers, salt, vinegar, and anchovies, if using. Add the oil in a slow, narrow stream, while continuing to whisk. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a small, lidded jar and shake well. Taste the dressing and add additional salt, if desired.

Transfer the cooked lentils to a large bowl, add the herbs, nuts, bacon, green onions and salt. Toss with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, with additional salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and just before serving, top a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve additional vinaigrette on the side.

Recipe from Chef Denise Marchessault


**We recommend using GRAIN French Lentils, available at Cook Culture and grown in Saskatchewan.

French Lentils


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