Lentil and Walnut Salad
2 1/2 cups Dried lentils
3 Carrots peeled and quartered
1 medium Yellow onion, peeled
1 1/2 quarts Chicken stock or
1 1/2 quarts Canned chicken broth (I used this)
1 Bay leaf
2 teaspoons Dried thyme
3 Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup Walnut oil
Salt to taste*
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Thinly sliced scallions incl. tops
1 cup Shelled walnut halves
Chopped Italian parsley**
**I used lots and included stems as well.
The authors write: "A good lentil salad makes an excellent first course, and this is one of the best we have ever tasted."
Rinse lentils and sort through them carefully, discarding any pebbles that you find.
Transfer lentils to a large pot and add the carrots, onion stuck with cloves, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Set over moderate heat; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, skim any foam that may appear (wasn't any when I made), cover and cook for about 25 minutes (lentil cooking time varies widely), or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Do not overcook. (I cooked about 28 to 31 minutes.)
While lentils are cooking, combine vinegar, garlic and walnut oil in a blender or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; process until smooth and creamy.
When lentils are done, drain them, discard the carrots, onion, cloves and bay leaf, and pour lentils into a mixing bowl. (I saved the carrots to eat, and they were good.) Rewhisk dressing and pour it over the still-hot lentils. Toss gently, season generously with salt and pepper and let salad cool to room temperature. Toss again, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, add scallions and walnuts. Add an additional tablespoon or two of vinegar or walnut oil if you like; toss gently.
Sprinkle heavily with chopped parsley and serve.
Note: I skipped extra vinegar and oil. I also added nuts, onion and parsley when preparing rest of salad.
Yield: 6 to 8 portions as a first course.