The Crazy Suburban Mom: Low - Rent Lentil Salad

Monday, January 17, 2011

Low - Rent Lentil Salad

Since I'm lacking in the nutrient department I thought I'd look for recipes that are good for me.  I've done that before but I'm mean really good for me this time.

Not the usual version of good for me;  a bag of Cheese Wackadoodles (extra crunchy) followed by a multivitamin chaser.

Oh! And by multivitamin I mean a purple Pebbles Flintstone shaped children's chewable multivitamin because sorry, I can't swallow a 3 inch wide pill. 

Lot's of things showed up in my 'healthy food' searches but lentils kept showing up, and up and up so I made a kinda sorta  version of French Lentil Salad.  I say a version because those French things - lentils du puy- are supposed to be a thousand times better but they are so much more expensive that yeah,  I'll be taking everyone's word on how good they are.

But honestly this  low-rent version is so, so good that my whole family (and extended family who were here yesterday)   loved it.  Really loved it.

Low-Rent French Lentil Salad

Either use your favorite vinaigrette or make one - it's easy.  Three parts olive oil to one part vinegar (in this case you will need to double to cover the amount of lentils) and add something to emulsify like Dijon mustard.  

What I did:

2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
6 Tablespoons Olive oil
A little less than a Tablespoon of Dijon  (didn't want to dirty another spoon.)
Salt and pepper

1 cup brown/green cheap lentils
4 cups water
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 whole small onion halved
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put it all in a pot (well not all - not the vinaigrette) , bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Cook only until lentils are just tender which will be about 17 to 18 minutes most likely but check or you will end up will goo which is really unappealing.

Drain in a colander, remove onion, thyme sprigs and bay.  Put warm lentil in a bowl and toss with dressing.

From there you can add nothing or sauteed veggies or what I added was a few tablespoons of minced sweet onion, some fresh chopped parsley and  a half cup of dry toasted nuts - whatever I have in the freezer at the moment.

lentil salad

You want separated lentils, not a pile of goo...

Personally, I like hazelnuts (which I never have laying around) and walnuts the best,  but I've used almonds in a pinch.

lentil salad

Serve at room temperature.  It keeps about a day in the fridge, well it 'keeps' longer but everything doesn't stay nice and firm.  So try to eat it right away

And PS - These were fresh, not dried, bay leaves.  I got them in the produce fresh herb section.  I'm not sure they are available everywhere - they aren't available everywhere here but I have this love hate relationship with bay leaves meaning I hate everything I've made with dried ones and love everything I've made with fresh ones so I'm planning on freezing the fresh ones and maybe that will work.


Lynette 1/17/11, 12:55 PM  

would have to try lentil soup but it is an aquired taste.

momsrus 1/17/11, 5:50 PM  

my mom made this for me all the time! and my favorite part was the dash of vinegar in it at the end. the progresso lentil soup is pretty darn close after you add the vinegar.

J Sedai 1/17/11, 6:38 PM  

that looks SO GOOD we love lentils I will have to give this a go next weekend!

The Budget Diet 1/17/11, 8:05 PM  

I have an entire pot of lentils that weren't much of a hit, so I'll reinvent them with this recipe!

Ruth 1/18/11, 1:53 AM  

Sounds really cool. I have several recipes I like to make, unfortunately most of them have onions which my kids HATE!

As far as the bay leaves, you could probably grow a bay plant on your kitchen windowsill, then you'd have fresh bay leaves all the time. ;-)

Richard 1/20/11, 6:53 PM  

Mmm, lentils! Look delicious! People think I'm a bit strange but I really love lentils. Sure Puy lentils are great, but I love the standard green and red ones just as much.

I'm a bit odd, I know.

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