This is one of my favorite easy (and inexpensive) meals: greens tossed in a lemony vinaigrette, topped with French green lentils, topped with a poached egg which provides a rich dressing to the salad when pierced. I prepared this lentil "caviar" with finely diced carrots and shallot sauteed in bacon fat, with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Reserve the bacon bits to sprinkle on top of the egg for a final indulgence. —Fairmount_market
Prepare the lentils. Dice the bacon (I use kitchen scissors to do this) and saute in a sauce pan until the fat is rendered and the pieces are crisp. Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the shallot and carrot. Remove the bacon bits from the pan and over medium low heat saute the shallot and carrot in the rendered bacon fat. Add the lentils and toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and cook down. Add the water and simmer until the lentils just start to become tender, about 20 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the lentils. Turn off the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of vinegar. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Prepare the salad greens. Mix together the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss the spinach or salad greens in the vinaigrette and divide between two plates.
Poach two eggs for about 5 minutes, so that the yokes are still quite runny.
Assemble the salad. On top of the greens, layer on a generous serving of lentils. Top with a poached egg, and sprinkle with bacon bits. Enjoy.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.