Lentil Salad with Beets and Bacon

Total Time:
1 hr
25 min
35 min

4 servings

  • 1 6 -ounce piece slab bacon, rind removed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup dried French green lentils
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 8 -ounce package vacuum-sealed cooked beets, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 small heads baby lettuce and/or frisee, torn into large pieces
  • 1 Belgian endive, cut into large pieces
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 to 10 fresh chives, cut into pieces

Chop about two-thirds of the bacon into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside. Wrap the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and garlic in a piece of cheesecloth; tie closed with kitchen twine. Combine the cheesecloth bundle, the remaining slab bacon, the lentils and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, discarding the cheesecloth bundle and bacon; let cool.

Meanwhile, cook the chopped bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels; set aside.

Make the dressing: Whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Toss the beets with about 1 tablespoon of the dressing in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad: Add the lettuce, endive, shallot, parsley, chives and the prepared lentils and bacon to the bowl with the dressing; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and toss. Top each serving with some beets.

Photograph by Johnny Miller

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