At a glance, nothing seems special about this recipe. The genius lies in Patricia Wells' perfect, restrained proportions, and its utter simplicity. They require patience: when you taste them just after mixing, you will think they're bland and watery. But don't give up on them! Let the vinaigrette seep in for ten minutes. Salt judiciously, tasting as you go. All of a sudden, you'll have a hard time putting down your fork. Recipe adapted very slightly from Bistro Cooking (Workman Publishing, 1989) —Genius Recipes
imported French green or brown lentils
medium onion, halved and stuck with 2 cloves
garlic clove, peeled
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Rinse lentils and discard any pebbles. Place lentils, onion, garlic and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25-35 minutes. Add liquid as needed.
Discard onion, garlic and bay leaf and drain any excess liquid. Whisk vinegar, oil and salt together in a small bowl. Pour over warm lentils and toss.
Before serving, season with pepper and additional salt, if necessary. Serve warm.
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