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Lentil Salad with Fennel and Smoked Salmon

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Serves four to six.

Yields about 4 cups.

  • by Allison Ehri Kreitler from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

If you can’t find French green lentils du Puy, substitute brown lentils. Cook them until just tender so they don’t fall apart when you toss the salad.

  • 1 cup French green lentils du Puy, rinsed and picked over for stones
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 3 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (use small holes on a box grater)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed, coarsely ground
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 9 small radishes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup), plus 1 Tbs. chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 Tbs. sliced fresh chives; more for garnish
  • 4 oz. cold-smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch squares (about 1/2 cup)

In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with 4 cups water. Simmer over medium heat until just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool to room temperature.

Roughly chop the garlic, sprinkle it with a pinch of salt, and mash to a paste with the flat side of a chef’s knife. In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic paste, shallot, vinegar, ginger, mustard, fennel seed, 1½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Whisk in the oil.

In a large bowl, toss the lentils, radishes, fennel, fennel fronds, and chives with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat everything lightly (you may not need it all). Season to taste with salt and pepper. (You can prepare the salad to this point up to 4 hours ahead.) Just before serving, gently stir in the salmon and a few grinds of pepper. Garnish with chives and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 12; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 690; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 8;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a LENTIL salad. Complaining that it has too much lentil is a little beside the point… Great flavors and a nice change of pace.

I find this salad to be a great side dish! If you're looking for something else besides rice or potatoes, this is a good alternative!

The flavors were good but it was a whole lot of lentils. I think maybe diluting this mixture on a bed of greens, arugula or watercress maybe, might work better.

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