Braised Puy Lentil Salad
Commercial lentil production in Germany ended roughly in the 1950s, but a lentil revival has begun and organic farmers are leading the charge. A recent study published in the journal Sustainability surveyed and interviewed over 100 lentil farmers to learn about the motivations, strategies and yield of current lentil production practices. One interesting discovery is that organic yields were the same as conventional, despite there usually being a yield gap between these management strategies for other crops. This will help organic farmers thrive and continue to produce this nutritionally important crop.
Braised puy lentils (also known as french green lentils) are forgiving to make and can be added to any dish, but are especially delcious when added to a green salad with a sharp vinaigrette.
- 1 cup puy lentils (aka french green lentils)
- 4 cups veggie stock plus more water as needed
- 2–4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- Any assortment of salad greens and veggies to make a garden salad including onions, greens, mushrooms and and roasted winter squash or root vegetables.
- Toasted seeds such as sunflower and sesame
- Vinaigrette. If making from scratch, then start with a 1:4 ratio of vinegar: oil (use a sharp vinegar like sherry vinegar and a mild olive oil or vegetable oil). You'll also need a small spoonful of mustard like dijon and some salt and pepper.
- Start with the lentils and prepare the rest of the salad while the lentils are cooking.
- Rinse and pick through the lentils to remove any unwanted stones or bad lentils. Add to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add the stock and salt and bring to a low boil/high simmer. Leave the lid off and let cook for 30 minutes, adding more water as needed until the lentil are soft and cooked through.
- Chop your veggies and lettuce to assemble a garden salad.
- Toast your seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently (do not use oil).
- If making your own salad dressing, combine all ingredients into a small jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake to mix.
- Once lentils are cooked and cooled (to at least warm), add them to the garden salad and top with dressing and seeds.
Banner Photo Credit: Gaelle Marcel; unspash.com