Warm Lentil Salad
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 2 H
- Serves 4
Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the water. Salt lightly, add the onion, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart.
Fifteen minutes before serving, cut the salt pork or bacon into 1/2-inch cubes. Fry until the pieces have browned on all sides, then pour off the fat, remove from the heat, and cover the pan to keep warm.
Make a dressing by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
Once the lentils are done, remove the onion and drain the lentils in a sieve or colander. Place them in a large salad bowl with the chives, shallots, and dressing.
Toss gently to season, and place the pieces of bacon on top. Serve warm.
Recipe Testers' Tips
The big discovery in making this salad for the first time was walnut oil, a new ingredient for me. Its potent yet gentle flavor permeated this salad, and no one guessed this special ingredient as they ate both their first serving and their second. In response to Mixolidia’s query, I, too, cook for a lot of people who are vegetarian as well as non-pork eaters. I made this salad without the bacon. It needs no substitute ingredient, and felt both whole and complete without it. It was perfect as part of a Middle Eastern meal, one which included the Turkish Baked Eggplant with Chile, Feta, and Mint; Jerusalem Salad, and Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pistachios, also on this site. It was delicious warm, but could also be served at room temperature. Because bean salads are generally quite brown, and this one is no exception, I think it is important to include it in a meal that has plenty of color in the other dishes; by itself, it’s not very pretty and it’s unlikely anyone would select it based on love at first sight! Bocuse notes to serve it as a side, which I think is perfect, though it could work as a vegetarian main dish in this version without the bacon. If I were to use it as a main dish, I would garnish with chives aplenty and think about what other colorful addition I could use to give the meal a more appealing and festive feel: perhaps some crudités on a nice platter.