French Lentil Salad
It’s usually when the weather starts to turn a bit cooler that I think of lentils or when I’m trying to recreate a meat dish without meat like these lentil tacos. However, oddly enough with the weather turning warmer, I had an idea for more of a warm/room temperature lentil salad. This isn’t necessarily an original French lentil salad. There are plenty floating around that are similar. What makes this one stand apart is the layering and infusing of the flavors.
The lentils are simmered with a mirepoix of carrot, celery and half an onion studded with cloves to flavor them. I didn’t use vegetable stock because lentils will take twice as long to cook if salt is added during the cooking process and most store bought stock/broth contains salt. I sautéd carrots, celery and fennel separately so that they would still maintain a bite to them. Then mixed everything together over low heat with the spinach and seasonings. The goal was a crunchy vegan lentil salad, not a side dish. However, this works just fine as a side dish with additions like a poached egg and goat cheese for vegetarian or grilled meats like salmon, pork or lamb.
Warm French Lentil & Spinach Salad
- 1 cup of green lentils
- 1 small yellow onion or half of one
- 2 cloves
- 1 small fennel
- 32 carrots
- 2 celery stick
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 bag of spinach
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Bring 1 cup of lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil. While it's coming to a boil, cut 1 carrot and celery stick in chunks. Then peel the onion and stud it with the cloves. (stick them in it) Add that to the lentils. Once the lentils have come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered.
- While the lentils are simmering, dice the fennel, 2 carrots 1 celery stick in uniform pieces. Sauté in a large Dutch oven with some olive oil for 5 - 7 minutes. You don't want them super soft. Turn off the heat. Once the lentils are done cooking, you'll want to drain them and pick out the vegetable pieces. Place in the large pot with the other vegetables and add in the spinach. Turn the heat up to medium.Add in some olive oil, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Start mixing. You might want or need to add a splash of water while mixing to help the spinach wilt faster. Once the spinach is wilted, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve warm or at room temperature.
High Fiber, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Specific Carbs, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Red Meat Free, Crustacean Free, Sesame Free, Lupine Free, Mollusk Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher