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Truffled Lentil Spoons

Here’s an easy take on saucisson, the French classic that combines lentils and sausage, although I have chosen to serve it without the sausage. I had the best saucisson of my life at Paul Bocuse’s restaurant in Lyon, France. I had planned to eat there one Saturday night, assured when I called ahead that the chef would be in the restaurant. I was heartbroken when I arrived to find he was not on the premises. The maitre d’ invited me to come back the next day so that I could get my book and menus autographed and surprised me the next afternoon when he told me I was expected in the kitchen as the chef’s guest. There, I sat at a granite table where I ate saucisson with Chef Bocuse himself! This truly was one of the highlights of my career, to sit and listen to the wisdom of such a legend.

If you want to add sausage, cut a warmed link into coins and impale them on the end of a fork’s tines. Lentils are legumes that cook quickly without presoaking, which makes them endlessly versatile. They are smaller and flatter than other legumes and maybe yellow, brown, black, green, or mottled. The small green French lentils known as Le Puy are considered to be the finest example.–Rick Tramonto

Truffled Lentil Spoons Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • For the Truffle Vinaigrette
  • 3 fresh black truffles (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons truffle juice (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup white truffle oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Bacon Vinaigrette
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the lentils
  • 1/4 cup warm cooked orange lentils (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup warm cooked black lentils
  • 1/4 cup warm cooked French green lentils
  • 3 tablespoons Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Bacon Vinaigrette
  • 6 sprigs fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing

Directions

  • Make the Truffle Vinaigrette
  • 1. In a blender, combine the truffles, truffle juice, vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice. Purée until smooth.
  • 2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.
  • 3. Transfer to a small glass or ceramic bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or refrigerate the vinaigrette in a tightly lidded non-reactive container for up to 2 weeks. Whisk well before using.
  • Make the Bacon Vinaigrette
  • 4. In a small skillet or sautepan cook the bacon over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy.
  • 5. Remove from the heat and allow the bacon and bacon fat to cool slightly. Stir in the vinegar and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.
  • Make the lentils
  • 6. Combine the lentils in a medium-sized bowl and toss gently with the truffle vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 7. To serve, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the truffled lentils onto a decorative spoon, such as a long-handled iced tea spoon. Set the spoon on a small plate and drizzle the bacon vinaigrette over and around the “truffles.” Garnish each with a sprig of chervil. Repeat to 5 more servings.

Notes

  • You can buy truffle juice in specialty stores. I use white truffle oil, but you may use black truffle oil if you prefer it. The same goes for fresh truffles: I suggest black truffles but if white truffles are in season and you can find them, use them.
  • You can cook the lentils ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. Reheat them gently in a saucepan with a little water, or in the microwave, until warm. Take care not to cook them any further. You want only to warm them.
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