Shaker Gourmet: Lentil Salad

How about some deliciousness for a Friday afternoon? This recipe comes from Shaker Rachel:
Lentil Salad

1 c. little black or green lentils (Puy are nice if you can find them)
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, quartered

3 Tbsp. olive oil
a heap of onion or shallots, thinly sliced (the more the better)
another 5 cloves of garlic, sliced (more to taste)
1 red bell pepper or 2-3 roasted piquillo peppers, sliced
sherry or wine to deglaze pan

1/4 c. pitted black olives
more olive oil
sherry vinegar or wine vinegar to taste
grainy brown mustard to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tsp. thyme leaves

Rinse the lentils and pick out any stones. Cover the lentils, bay leaves, and 3 quartered garlic cloves with water and bring to simmer. The lentils will probably take about 20 minutes to cook, but test one after 15 minutes. You want them tender but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, cook the onion or shallots in olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. When they have started to brown nicely, add the sliced garlic. Now would also be a good time to add the bell pepper. (If you're using roasted peppers instead, add them at the end; they don't need any more cooking.) Add sherry or wine as needed to keep the good stuff from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Drain the lentils when they are done. Remove the bay leaves. (You can take out the sodden garlic cloves if you want, but I don't stand on ceremony.) Transfer to a large salad bowl.

When the onions, etc. are caramelized, tip them into the salad bowl with the lentils.

To make the dressing, pulverize the olives in a small food processor with olive oil to make a paste. Add to the salad bowl and stir to coat. Mix in vinegar, mustard, pepper, and thyme.
Rachel notes: "It's especially nice with crusty bread and an assertive bitter green salad, or used to stuff tomatoes. My boyfriend and I get four servings out of this, and it is better the second day."

If you'd like to participate in Shaker Gourmet, email me (include a blog link!) at: shakergourmet (at)

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