I must apologize, we were away for a couple of days after Christmas so I haven’t been as attentive with responding to comments and commenting; thanks for understanding.
This salad has become a staple in our home and would have been a great alternative to the Paella for our progressive dinner. I had trouble finding the authentic Lentilles du Puy until I spotted them in our Superstore for a fraction of the cost, but they are from Alberta! I read that the soil conditions are similar to that of Du Puys in France, 500g for about $2.75. I have yet to taste them to compare to the French lentils, but as soon as I do, I will update this post.
You have Charles at Five Euro Food to thank for this post. On my last entry for Lentilles du Puy, he mentioned he goes for lunch to a small bistro and they serve this salad with a poached egg on top. Here is his comment verbatim, it was so inspiring: “Hi Eva, this is one of my absolute favourite lentil dishes – the place I eat it serves it with small cubes of raw carrot which provide a lovely texture and… the pièce de résistance on top… a soft poached egg. Seriously, you HAVE to try that. Cracking open the egg so the yolk runs out over the lentils… it’s so lovely!” Of course, you just knew I HAD to have it. And at a risk of making JT SICK TO DEATH of this salad, I made it again (Luv you JT). Unfortunately, the photos are at night so they are crap, but you can certainly see the most deliciousness of the cracked yolk flowing over the lentils…it was very delicious and highly recommended.
PS. This time, I even added the small cubes of carrot to be sure I had the same experience. Thanks again Charles.
Poached Egg on Lentilles du Puy Salad with a Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 cup lentilles du Puy (French green lentils) picked over and rinsed
- 3 cups water (the original recipe has 6 cups but you have to drain the remaining water)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 pancetta slices, chopped (about 3-4 table spoons)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 fresh flat-leafed parsley sprigs plus 1/2 cup leaves, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 carrot, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 4-6 poached eggs
- 2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, or to taste
- 1-2 tbsp cup EVOO
- 1 bunch arugula, coarse stems discarded, washed well and spun dry
- In a heavy saucepan render the pancetta to a crispy consistency. Remove pancetta and add the onions and sweat until transparent. Add the garlic, type and parsley sprigs (reserve the leaves). Cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the lentils and sauté for another minute, add the water all at once and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in bells peppers and simmer mixture, covered, until lentils are tender, about 10 minutes. Lentils may be made 2 days ahead and kept covered and chilled. Reheat lentils before proceeding with recipe.
Directions for vinaigrette:
- Transfer 2 tablespoons lentil-cooking liquid to a medium bowl and whisk in vinegars, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Add oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk dressing until emulsified.
- Drain lentils (if required, I didn’t have to) well in a sieve and discard parsley sprigs. Toss lentils with chopped parsley and vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, arrange arugula decoratively around salad, or serve without as is pictured below.