Monday, February 24, 2014

Lentil, walnut + goat cheese salad

lentil salad with dried orange cranberries, 
baby kale and big chunks of roasted butternut squash

I can't believe I've never shared this French lentil, walnut, and goat cheese salad before because it's so good and I make it often. I like these it because it's easy to make, and is just pure goodness. Sometimes I'll have these lentils straight up—meaning just the way french Chef Laura Calder's recipe was written—but often I'll also add other tid-bits to jazz it up, such as kale, spinach greens, roasted sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. Invest in some walnut oil, because anointing this salad with it is a perfect finishing touch.

lentil salad with roasted butternut squash and chopped kale

roasted sweet potato stuffed with lentil salad

The recipe comes from French Food at Home 
chef Laura Calder,and it start with a simple pot of water, 
a bay leaf, thyme leaves and lentils.

Laura Calder's lentils—straight up!

French Lentils with Walnuts and Goat Cheese
1 cup French du Puy lentils
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
a splash of balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces walnuts, toasted
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into pinches
walnut oil

DIRECTIONSPut the lentils in a saucepan with the bay leaf and thyme. Pour over 1 1/3 cups water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, around 30 minutes. All the liquid should be absorbed, if not simply drain off any excess.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic for 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Once the lentils are cooked, toss them with the onion mixture, season with salt and pepper and put them in a serving dish. Scatter over the nuts and pinches of cheese. Drizzle with the walnut oil, and serve warm.

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