Lentil Salad with Vinegar Mushrooms Recipe Inspired by Alain Ducasse

Written by Eydie Desser

French Le Puy lentils are a staple in France. They have a bit of a peppery flavor and have the ability to retain their shape after cooking.  Chef Alain Ducasse, a revered french chef, created this  special recipe using these lentils that are rich in fiber, protein, B vitamins and minerals. We made it even healthier by eliminating the oil and salt. By blending the boiled onion with Sherry vinegar made for the perfect “vinaigrette” for the lentils, enhancing the dish, making it delightfully delicious without the added fat or salt. The enoki mushrooms add even more nutrients.  If you can’t find them, use button mushrooms, which are just as delicious and nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Le Puy green lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 medium sized red onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 oz. Enoki Mushrooms, rinsed and stems removed
  • Or button mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

Instructions

Make the Lentils:

1- Thoroughly rinse and drain 1 cup of Le Puy green lentils.  Place in a large saucepan, and cover with water by 2-3 inches.  Add the carrot and onion.  Bring the water to a simmer and cook gently for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost finished cooking.   Depending on the age of the lentils, it may take longer. The goal is for the lentils to hold their shape, and are a little firm.  If overcooked they’ll become mushy.  Remove the onion and carrot to a bowl, and turn off the heat so that the lentils can continue to cook in the water.

2- Brunoise (finely dice) the carrot, and reserve.

3- Drain the lentils and place in a large bowl or parchment lined sheet tray to cool.

Prepare the Mushrooms:

1- Set aside about 20 of the enoki mushrooms in a bowl.

2- Pour 2 cups of water and  ¼ cup white wine vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the rest of the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, then drain.

Make the “Vinaigrette”:

1- Place the cooked red onion in the bowl of a small food processor, along with the sherry vinegar and blend until smooth.  

2- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To Serve:

Mix the carrot and cooked mushrooms with the lentils and add the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the reserved fresh mushrooms on top along with freshly chopped Italian parsley and serve.

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