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June 19, 2012

Warm French Lentil Salad

Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers

  • French lentils, escarole, fennel, walnuts, and seasonings yield a protein-packed salad. Michelle Riley/HSUS

Serves 4

1 cup French lentils
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium head of escarole (about 12 ounces)
1 fresh fennel bulb
2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme)
3/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
Lemon wedges or a cruet of vinegar

In a saucepan, bring the 3 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lentils to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, rinse, drain, and chop the escarole (about 6 cups).

To prepare the fennel bulb, remove the outer layers (if bruised or soft), cut in half lengthwise, remove the hard core, and thinly slice (makes about 2 cups).

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, ground fennel, and thyme for a few seconds. Add the fresh fennel and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir-fry on high heat for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the escarole and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until softened but still crisp and bright. Remove from the heat and drain any excess liquid into the cooking lentils.

When the lentil are done, drain them. Stir the lentils into the escarole mixture. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature, topped with the walnuts. Decorate with lemon wedges, or offer the cruet of vinegar at the table.

Recipe courtesy of Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers cookbook.

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes four servings).

Calories: 417
Fat: 22 g
Carbs: 41 g
Fiber: 23 g
Protein: 73 g
Sodium: 257 mg

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