French Lentil Salad
1 cup blue lentils (also known as Puy or French green lentils)
4 inch (10 cm) piece of lemon peel
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
few parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
4 inch (10 cm) square piece of muslin
1 medium brown onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (or 2 baby bulbs)
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 cup each, olive oil & red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon each, lemon zest & Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chervil (French parsley)
Put the lentils in a large pot of boiling water, along with the lemon peel, peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley stalks tied up in the muslin (like a little bundle). Boil for about 15 min. or until the lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, saute the onions, garlic, carrot and fennel in some olive oil on low heat. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest and mustard and whisk it all together to make a dressing.
Once the lentils are done, strain them and remove the muslin bundle. Combine the sautéed veggie mix while everything is still warm, and then toss in the dressing.
Finally, toss through the chopped chervil. I love this warm with fresh crusty Italian bread and a glass of red wine!