And here comes recipe #3 from My Paris Kitchen. I told you we were serious about this, right? Right. I learned a lot while making this dish - for starters, lentils are extremely high in calories. One and a half cups of dried green lentils is a whopping 1,050 calories.
But don't let that scare you off! Lentils are extremely inexpensive and packed with nutrients. They're complex carbohydrates that are full of soluble fiber and protein and iron. They are good for you.
And they're also delicious, especially when mixed with lightly toasted walnuts and crumbled chevre cheese. This was warm and hearty and would be a great winter meal, although when served at room temperature it's absolutely fine in the summer.
The biggest takeaway I got from this is that this recipe is, without a doubt, a main course. I guess I thought of lentils as something that could be used as a side dish, like beans, or in place of carbs such as pasta or rice. But this makes a complete, one-stop-shop meal.
And - you guessed it - this recipe is customizable. You could easily swap out the nuts, herbs, and cheese to make a completely different meal. One online review suggested using basil, toasted pine nuts, and Parmesan, and I think that sounds divine. You could also add more carrots, celery, and onion if you wanted to up your veggie intake. I don't think it would hurt the recipe one bit.
Have you ever made lentils? If so, what recipe(s) have you made, and did you like them? We have a big bag from Aldi, so I'd love to find new ways to use them up!
xoxo from our Greer kitchen,
E & B
french lentil salad with goat cheese and walnuts
for the lentils:
1 1/2 cups French green lentils
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme (we used fresh)
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 rib celery, peeled and finely diced
for the dressing:
a splash of red wine vinegar
1 1/4 tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil (it called for 1/3 cup, but we said no way)
1 small shallot, peeled and minced (we used finely shaved red onion)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup toasted walnuts
crumbled fresh or slightly aged goat cheese
rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan with plenty of lightly salted water, the bay leaf, and the thyme.
Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the finely diced vegetables and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender; be careful not to overcook them.
While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing.
Mix the vinegar, salt, mustard, oil, and shallot in a large bowl.
Drain the lentils well and mix them into the dressing while still warm, stirring to coat the lentils.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Add a few grinds of black pepper and mix in the parsley, chopped nuts, and goat cheese.
Taste, and add additional salt, if desired.
If served warm, omit the goat cheese, or crumble it on top at the last minute, so it doesn’t melt—but instead, slightly softens.
The salad can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Let it come to room temperature before serving; it may need to be re-seasoned once refrigerated.
Not as good as you'd expect. The lentils, walnuts, and goat cheese pack a lot of calories. The recipe says it makes four servings, but we estimated more like six. If you go with six, and with our modifications, it's 365 calories per serving. Counting calories is important, yes, but eating real food is perhaps even more important. So have a serving of these lentils guilt-free.
This recipe is adapted from My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stoires by David Lebovitz.