What could be better than a warm bowl of tangy, smoky lentils on a cold night? This recipe was inspired by an appetizer I tried a very long time ago at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. It was simple, but really flavorful. It was also topped with a thin slice of foie gras, which I've left out of my recipe. Because the lentils are cooked a short time, they stay firm--a plus for eaters who are squimish about texture. I serve this as a side dish or a main course in place of pasta. It also travels well. —Lori Lyn Narlock
What You'll Need
uncooked yellow lentils
chicken stock or water
bacon, diced fine
yellow onion, diced fine
carrot, diced fine
stalk celery, diced fine
shallot, diced fine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the lentils, stock and thyme in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Let sit uncovered.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring as needed, for 6 to 8 minutes until crispy. Transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and shallot to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until tender.
Remove the thyme stems from the lentils. Stir the vegetable mixture in to the lentils.
Whisk together the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Pour into the skillet and cook over medium high heat for 1 minute. Pour over the lentils. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the lentils into shallow bowls and top with the bacon. Serve warm.