- 500gm French Lentils
- Juice and zest of two lemons
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cooked organic bacon
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, any kind is fine (basil, parsley, chervil, tarragon, coriander, rosemary, mint)
- Rinse the lentils in a strainer and pick out any rocks. Put the lentils in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the lentils about half an hour, or until al dente. You don't want them mushy, so start checking them after about 20 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, mix together the lemon juice and zest, garlic, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper in a big bowl.
- Drain the lentils when they're ready and add them to the vinaigrette. You want to do this while the lentils are hot so they absorb the flavours of the dressing. Add the chopped bacon and toss everything together.
- Wait 10 minutes, until the lentils have cooled slightly, and then add the fresh herbs.
- Let the lentils stand at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.
ABOUT FRENCH GREEN LENTILS
French Green Lentils (also known as lentilles du Puy) are prized above other lentils for their strong peppery flavour and their firmness, even after cooking. Lentils are a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family and are a very good source of cholesterol lowering fibre.
Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer.
Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals including two B-vitamins and protein, all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition is just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils.
Lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. This makes them an important part of a vegetarian diet, and useful for preventing iron deficiency. Iron is particularly important for adolescents and pregnant women, whose requirements for it are increased.Cooking French Green Lentils
There is no special technique to cooking les lentilles du Puy. They cook in the same fashion as other lentils and can substitute for these in your favourite recipes. The basic cooking technique is:
- Rinse the lentils with cold water and remove any gravel that may have sneaked its way in.
- Place them in a sturdy pot and cover with 6 times as much water.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer until done, about 15 to 20 minutes.