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French Lentil Salad with Herbs

 

Ingredients:

1 cup green or French lentils (these are tiny, whole lentils. Sometimes called lentllles de Puy)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 large bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ozs pancetta, diced or about 4 slices of bacon, diced
2 large shallots, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced, about 1/3-1/2 cup
2 large sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
A pinch of dried sage or 1-2 large leaves of sage, minced
2 Tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped

For the dressing:
3 Tbsp Flying Olive EVOO such as Tuscan Herb, Herbs de Provence, or Garlic
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Flying Olive Neapolitan Herb, A-1 Premium Balsamic (both tart and tangy), or 18 Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (smooth and sweet)

Directions:

Wash and rinse the lentils. Put them in a saucepan and cover with the chicken broth. Add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until just tender about 20 to 25 minutes. (Note: As they are cooking, try a couple of lentils to see if they are tender but still have a little give). Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets low. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the salt.

While the lentils are cooking, cook the pancetta in a heavy pan over medium heat until crispy. There probably won’t be any fat, but if you use bacon, drain most of the fat. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary, and sage, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots are tender but not soft. Add the garlic and carrot. Cook 1 more minute until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Whisk the Flying Olive EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar together until thick. Taste and adjust seasoning and amount of mustard. Toss with the warm, drained lentils, then stir in the pancetta and shallot mixture. Stir in the chopped capers and parsley. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if needed.

This salad can be served warm, room temperature, or chilled. The salad keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator.

Submitted by Barb L.