Black lentils, like French Green Lentils (lentilles du Puys), differ from other “garden variety” lentils in several ways. Black lentils retain their lens-like shape and firm pleasant texture when cooked, making them a good choice for salads. They’re much smaller, too – only about 1/8th-inch or so in diameter. Black lentils cook very quickly, requiring only about 15 – 20 minutes to cook to a pleasant ‘al dente’ consistency.
The natural deep ebony color of black lentils fades to an attractive rich nut-brown hue during the cooking process. Their mild, but distinctive “legume” flavor melds beautifully with vinaigrettes and marinades, and accommodates itself well to soups and stews too.
Versatile, flavorful and nutritious black lentils are a healthy, convenient choice for the modern, on-the-go lifestyle. Easily prepared in advance, black lentil salad can be served up any way you like, from a hearty side dish to a light lunch or main dish. Perfect for cool & casual summer dining, or for the whole year round!
Black Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese
- 1 cup black lentils
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp capers
- 2 Tbsp diced roasted red pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp sliced chives, plus a bit for garnish
- 2 oz fresh goat cheese
- fresh salad greens
Rinse the lentils and place them in a pot of 4 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes and add the shallots. Simmer for an additonal 10 minutes or until tender, but with a little resistance “to the tooth”. Drain immediately through a fine strainer and rinse briefly with cool water. Drain again, set aside and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled lentils with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the capers, roasted pepper, parsley and chives and toss briefly.
Arrange a small amount of salad greens on each plate and mound about a 1/4 cup of the lentil mixture on top of the greens. Crumble a little of the goat cheese over the lentils. Drizzle with a little additional olive oil and sprinkle with a few sliced chives.
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