I go through spells of forgetting to cook lentils and forgetting how much we enjoy a lentil salad which is great on its own or teamed up with a variety of other foods – for example with eggs, baked and smoked salmon, grilled sausages and more. One lunch time in Paris I stopped at ‘Merci’ and after looking around the store, sat down in one of their cafés for a light lunch of lentil salad teamed with a green bean salad and rocket with shaved Parmesan. It made me think I must cook lentils again soon. So. a couple of days ago for lunch, I made lentils with pan-fried duck gizzards (I always have a can in my pantry). It was delicious.
- Ingredients (for 4 for lunch)
- 1 cup Puy lentils (washed)
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- Olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Sprig of fresh thyme
- Sprig of parsley
- 1 x 385g tin of duck gizzards – we stock these
- Salt and pepper
- Finely chopped parsley
- Salad greens, particularly including peppery rocket
- 6 tbsps walnut oil
- 2 tbsps sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsps Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, peeled and very finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Heat a little olive oil in a pot and add the onion, carrot and celery. Put the lid on the pot and gently cook till the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, stir for a minute then add the lentils, water or stock, bay, thyme, parsley and a little salt and pepper. Cook till the lentils are soft but not mushy.
Make the dressing while the lentils are cooking. Mix together all the dressings ingredients in a bowl. It will taste a little strong and vinegary but this is fine as lentils will absorb all the flavour.
Drain the lentils when cooked and mix in most of the dressing while they’re still warm. Taste and check the seasoning.
Take the gizzards out of the duck fat and warm them through in a pan for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and cut each in half lengthwise.
To serve put 2-3 good spoonfuls of lentils of each plate, top with slices of duck gizzard and finely chopped parsley. Toss the salad greens in the remaining dressing and serve on the side of each plate.