Servings: 4 to 6
This classic bistro salad would make a fine first course, but it’s also good at the center of a weeknight meal. The very small, dark greenish-brown du Puy lentils (also called French lentils) are firmer than brown lentils and hold their shape better during cooking. In France, the sausage would be saucisson à l’ail, a semi-cooked, smoked garlic sausage. Kielbasa makes a fine substitute.
Pick over and rinse the lentils, and put them in a 3- to 4-qt. saucepan. Pile the thyme, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns on a 5-inch square of double-layer cheesecloth. Gather up the edges and tie into a little pouch with kitchen twine. Add the pouch to the pan along with the onion and carrot. Fill the pan with cold water to cover the lentils by about 2 inches, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately lower to a gentle simmer—boiling can break the lentils—and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. (If the water level drops below the surface of the lentils as they simmer, add a little more water.)
Meanwhile, put the sausage in a small saucepan or deep skillet. Add the wine and enough water to cover by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat as needed to cook at a bare simmer (bubbles should only occasionally break the surface), uncovered, until a metal skewer inserted into the center comes out feeling hot to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the lentils and sausage cook, make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk 1-1/2 Tbs. of the vinegar with the mustard and a pinch of salt. In a steady stream, whisk in the olive and walnut oils. Season to taste with salt.
Serve with crusty bread and a Frilly Lettuce Salad for an easy but satisfying supper.
Toss the lentils with a little salt and vinegar immediately after draining, and you’ll see a big boost in the flavor of the salad. Like potatoes, lentils firm up as they cool, which slows their ability to absorb seasonings.
I never knew lentils could taste this good. It has become a fall and winter favorite. Simmering the kielbasa in wine enhances the flavor.
I've made this many times. Love it!
I make this recipe for one of my customers and they love it each time. I use good quality kielbasa and it comes out great each time.
This "salad" is great! I've made this about three times now, it makes for a great pack-able and filling lunch, extremely healthy (there is very little meat per portion - I also use less kielbasa), and very convenient since there is no need to reheat. It also tastes better after a day or two in fridge when the flavors really meld together. My only tip on this otherwise awesome recipe is that the cup of wine isn't necessary, its lost on the sausage - drink that cup instead!
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