Lentil Salad with Beets and Bacon

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.