I use Puy lentils whenever I have the chance. They come from the Auvergne region – central France – and they have a pleasant habit of holding themselves together when cooked, unlike some of their lentil brothers and sisters. That makes them perfect for a salad. This makes 2 large dinner-sized salads – or you can also reduce the amount of greens and serve the whole thing over pasta.
1 c. lentilles de Puy (Puy or green lentils), sorted
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and cook briefly. Stir in the lentils and add water to cover. Add salt and pepper – lentils are the exception to the Do Not Salt Beans Before Cooking rule – and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. If you have a pressure cooker, pressure cook for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make some marinated tomatoes:
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
a little water (helps cut the sharpness of the balsamic)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper (needs more than you might think)
When the lentils are cooked, drain them and serve them over a generous bed of arugula and/or spinach greens. Top with the marinated tomatoes – and some crumbled feta if you’re the type that likes that.