Served warm or at room temperature, this lentil salad is delicious, super healthy, and simple to prepare. For lunch, you might consider folding in some protein, like smoked fish, cheese, or bacon. Or serve as a side to fish, lamb, pork, or chicken.
2 medium leeks, roots and dark green parts removed
3 fresh Italian parsley stems, leaves removed
1 pound French green lentils (lentilles du Puy, about 2 cups), rinsed
1 small bay leaf
1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water until clean.
2. Tie 1 leek half and the parsley stems together with butcher’s twine and place in a large saucepan. Add the lentils, bay leaf, and garlic and cover the lentils with cold water by 2 inches. Cover the pan with a tightfitting lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, stir to combine, and continue to simmer until the lentils are just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes more. Meanwhile, finely chop the 3 remaining leek halves.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped leeks, carrots, onions, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer the mixture to a large heatproof bowl.
4. Using tongs, remove the leek bundle, bay leaf, and garlic clove from the lentils and discard. Drain the lentils through a large fine-mesh strainer and transfer to the bowl with the carrot mixture. Add the measured vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8. Jill Santopietro for Chow.com
***Extra delicious when you some fold salsa verde into it.