PUY LENTILS WITH A DIJON VINAIGRETTE
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.