For the Love of Legumes
Lentils are something I always have in my pantry. Tucked away, just waiting to become a satisfying Winter soup. Or, as in this case, a light and refreshing Summer salad. I generally purchase brown lentils. They are the most versatile of the bunch and are quickly cooked. By all means, you could use lentilles du Puy, or green lentils - just be sure to add a bit of cooking time.
Recipes like these are my favorite in hot weather. They come together rather effortlessly and without intense cooking times or laborious measurements. Use what you have on hand. Alter ingredients to suit your taste.
I am intentionally not including exact measurements here unless there is a risk of ruin that must be obliterated. Keep this freestyle. Just like a proper Summer recipe should be.
Serve this salad warm or cold, with egg or without, by the pool or at your office. But no matter what, always include a glass of ice cold rose.
INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD
1 cup Dried Brown Lentils
1 Bay Leaf
Red Bell Pepper
INGREDIENTS FOR DRESSING
Pour lentils into a pot, covered by an inch of water, and add bay leaf. Pull off heat before the get mushy - about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool - enough so that you can play with them with your hands without risk of being burned. Add diced vegetables and minced herbs.
Dressing should be made in a smaller bowl. Combine just enough of the ingredients to create a fully emulsified, bright vinaigrette.
Pour dressing over lentil mixture and toss. For dinner, I serve this room temperature with a poached egg. A brief visit overnight in the refrigerator makes this salad even better. Leftovers make a tasty late night snack or perfect lunch the next afternoon.