I often make dinner salads in warm weather and this one is very tasty. Since I eat a low carb diet, I don’t add anything else, but a crusty bread (heated, of course) would be a good addition. If you don’t want to use haricot verts (French string beans) simply increase the amount of greens for the salad.
Unlike other beans, dried lentils cook in 30 minutes or less with no soaking necessary and come in a variety of colors. Opt for the dried lentils for better flavor, price and variety.
Bacon gives nice flavor, but is optional. I buy my bacon from Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor, NY; the animals are pasture raised and humanly treated–you can see them them you visit. The bacon is the best I’ve ever had.
Lentil Salad With Roasted Beets, Haricot Verts and Bacon
Serves 4 as a main course
FOR THE LENTIL SALAD:
4 small beets, wrapped in foil and baked in the oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees until done, about an hour. Peel and cut into chunks and add a bit of dressing when they are still warm.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
4-8 slices (4 ounces) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces and cooked (optional)
1 cup raw brown or green lentils
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
Chopped greens, including radicchio
1 lb haricot verts, roasted in a single layer at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt and pepper, about a half hour, until a bit wrinkled and dark.
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup aged white or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard and salt. Then whisk in olive oil. Or put all ingredients into a small food processor.
In a medium pot, combine lentils, 4 cups water, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Drain lentils and discard bay leaf; keep or discard garlic as you like. Toss lentils and beans with half of the sherry vinaigrette while still warm.
Toss greens with enough of remaining vinaigrette to lightly coat it and arrange it on a platter. Combine lentils, bacon and roasted vegetables, adding more of the vinaigrette to taste; spoon mixture on top of greens.