- 5 cups water
- 2 cups French green (Puy) lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 small celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 small carrots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Place the water, lentils and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue simmering for 8-10 more minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- While the lentils are simmering, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, onion, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly, until vinaigrette is thoroughly blended.
- When lentils are done cooking, drain into a colander and discard bay leaf. Add lentils and vinaigrette to the pan with the cooked vegetables and stir to mix. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- Brown lentils can be used in place of French green lentils. Start checking for doneness a few minutes earlier.
- This recipe can easily be halved, but the salad keeps so well and makes such an excellent lunch or snack, it’s worth making the full amount.