This is another adapted Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe, weirdly, as I have to say his recipes usually do not grab me. Lentils hold a special place in my heart, as A) the first properly healthy food I remember liking as a child and B) a really cheap store cupboard essential. I have been unsuccessfully experimenting with dal for a little while, so I was glad to find a recipe that ended up being exactly as tasty as I thought it was going to be (and I had high hopes for this one). This is a lovely warm salad that would make a great side dish, or if, fleshed out with some salad leaves an excellent starter dish or simple main. It is also pretty good reheated the next day (refridgerate without the goats cheese added then toss it in after microwaving) as a packed lunch, which is perfect for me, as the Wimbledon Championship is taking places minutes from my desk, and venturing outside to get lunch involves elbowing my way through hordes of rabid Nadal fans..
- 250g green or puy lentils
- 4 shallots
- 2 celery sticks
- 160g lardons
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon mustard (grainy or dijon)
- 1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 150g goats cheese, crumbled
- Boil the lentils as instructed on the pack (usually 20-30 minutes) along with the bay leaves and some parsley stalks.
- Meanwhile, fry the lardons in a little oil until golden and crispy.
- Drain with a slotted spoon and leave on a plate to cool.
- Finely chop the celery and shallots and fry in the bacon oil until soft.
- Add the garlic for one minute.
- Remove the bay leaves and parsley stalks from the lentils.
- Add the lentils to the pan with the garlic, shallots and celery and remove from the heat.
- Add in the lardons.
- Meanwhile, mix the mustard, vinegar, sugar and remaining oil to make a dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix in well.
- Add the goats cheese and parsley.
- Season and serve warm.