Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese
- 1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, quartered
- 1 stalk celery, quartered
- 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups dried French green lentils
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 pound slab bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 4 cups frisee or mixed greens
- Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- 4 slices goat cheese
- French bread, for serving
Roasted Beets, recipe follows
Begin by roasting the beets.
Tie onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs together in cheesecloth. Place chicken stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the cheesecloth bag of aromatics.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly golden brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the garlic and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm.
To assemble, place the frisee in a large bowl, toss with half of the vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the roasted beets around the outside of 4 dinner plates. Divide the greens among each plate in the center. Top the frisee with some of the warm lentils and place a slice of the goat cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve with slices of French bread.
3 medium beets (red or gold), scrubbed, leaves trimmed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat beets lightly with oil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until emulsified.