Warm lentil salad with smoked salmon
A comforting salad for cold days that’s quick to prepare. What makes it really special is the addition of lots of chopped fresh herbs.
For best results, use top quality lentils. Here in France, I’d recommend lentilles vertes du Puy, small dark-green lentils with a fine flavor. Elsewhere, just seek out the top quality — usually identifiable by price. Ditto the smoked salmon. Go for organic if you can find it. The flavor is great, and it’s far better for your health than the farmed variety.
3/4 cup (150 g) lentils
2-1/2 cups (1/2 liter) water
2 slices smoked salmon, about 3-1/2 ounces (100 g)
1 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs: chervil, dill, mint, cilantro, parsley or a combination
2 handfuls arugula or another tender salad green
Rinse the lentils in a sieve under running water. Place in a pot, cover with the water and set the pot over high heat. When the water boils, turn down to a simmer. Add the bay leaf.
Cook the lentils until they are just tender and the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the smoked salmon and the dressing. Cut the salmon into bite-sized strips. In a large bowl, whisk the balsamic with the olive oil.
When the lentils are ready, remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf. Add the sea salt. Stir the warm lentils into the dressing. Add the minced shallot. Grind in some black pepper.
Now add the chopped herbs and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. You may need a bit more salt.
Add the salmon strips to the warm lentils and serve on individual salad plates beside a handful of arugula. Use a couple of sprigs of herb for garnish. Serves 2.