Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This salad won't wilt, so is good on a picnic or in a buffet. Use larger portions for a main course. It's also good without the diced kielbasa, cheese, and olives, served with a hot, spicy grilled Italian sausage plopped right on top. A tea infuser works well to hold the herbs for the bouquet garni, if you don't have cheesecloth or muslin. From Sheryl and Mel London's "The Elegant Bean".
- 1 1⁄2 cups french green lentils, picked over and washed
- 5 cups water
- 1 small onion, stuck with
- 1 whole clove
- 1 small carrot
- 1 small stalk celery
- 1 bouquet garni (3 sprigs flat leaf parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, 4 whole black peppercorns, all tied in chees)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium onions or 3⁄4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery or 1⁄2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrots or 1⁄2 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 medium lemon, juice of
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons walnut oil
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely diced kielbasa (1/2-inch dice) or 4 ounces finely diced kielbasa (1/2-inch dice)
- 4 ounces crumbled chevre cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely minced flat leaf parsley
- 1⁄2 cup tiny black olives, such as Nicoise (optional)
- In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, bring the lentils, water, onion, carrot, and celery stalk to a boil. Add the bouquet garni and lower the heat. Simmer about 20 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender but still maintain their shape. Add salt during the last few minutes of cooking. Remove and discard the vegetables and bouquet. Drain the lentils well and spread them on clean toweling to dry. Transfer the cooked lentils to a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium size nonstick skillet, then add the garlic through the chopped carrot. Saute 5 minutes on medium, stirring frequently, then add to the bowl of cooked lentils, stirring gently.
- Place the lemon juice, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl, then whisk in the walnut oil. Pour over the lentil mixture and season generously with black pepper. Gently stir the salad once. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30m minutes or refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before finishing the salad.
- To finish, stir in the kielbasa and adjust the seasoning. Line the serving plates with lettuce leaves and mound a portion of the salad on top. Garnish with some of the chevre, parsley, and olives.