This is a recreation of the wonderful lentils we had in Paris at Chez Juliene Lou Pescadou near St. Suplice, by way of Ina Garten. In the winter they are awesome served hot, with a dollop of crème fraîche and crispy lardons. In the summer it's great as a cold, lettuce-less salad when tossed with a yummy vinaigrette...you can still add the crispy lardons ;) I love this in the winter with a green salad and crispy baguette, in the summer it's a fantastic potluck or picnic item. —SouthernSnacker
lardons (or 4 slices bacon) cut into strips if too big (optional)
Crème fraîche to serve
For the viniagrette
white balsamic vinegar (you can also use red wine or champagne or whichever you prefer)
dried herbs de provence
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In This Recipe
In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil in the pan and saute the leeks and carrots for about 5 minutes over medium heat until softened, but not browned. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 or 2 minutes more until fragrant and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, lentils, the peeled, halved turnip, the peeled whole onion and the bouquet garnis and bring to a boil.
Once they've come to a boil, add the cooked leek mixture to the pot and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but still firm.
For the warm lentils (Warm): Reserve 1/2 Cup of the cooking water and set aside.
Warm: Discard the turnip, onion and bouquet garnis and drain the lentils. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in butter and as much reserved cooking water to achieve your desired consistancy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each portion with a dollop of crème fraîche and crispy lardons.
For the cold lentils (Cold): Discard the turnip, onion and bouquet garni, drain lentils and transfer to serving bowl, stir in the butter (optional). Set aside.
Cold: Whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard and herbs de provence, salt and pepper
Cold: Add 1/2 to 3/4 of the viniagrette mixture to the lentils and stir well and see how the balance is, reserve any left over viniagrette. Add salt and pepper to taste and let cool. Before serving check your seasoning, you may need to add additional salt and pepper or reserved viniagrette.