This salad can be a meal by itself since it has ham and bacon. Great for a summer lunch! this is courtesy of Patricia Wells, The Paris Cookbook.
Lentil Salad with Walnut Oil
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 ounces of ham cut into cubes, about 1/2 cup
3 cups or 1 pond of french lentils, such as lentilles du Puy
1 quart if chicken stock
1 tablespoon of French Dijon mustard
2 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
2/3 cup of walnut oil
1 shallot minced
sea salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces of bacon, cubed
3 tablespoon of chives, minced
Add the olive oil to the pan over medium high heat, lower the heat add the onions and ham. Cook for about 5 minutes, till translucent. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Place the lentils in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Transfer them to a saucepan and cover with cold water. And bring to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat and transfer the lentils back to the sieve and rinse again with cold water. Return the lentils to the pan and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, and with a slotted spoon skim off the impurities off the top. Let it simmer gently for about 30 minutes . They lentils should be firm in the center.
Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette. In a large salad bowl add the mustard and vinegar and whisk to blend. Add the shallots and oil and whisk again. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a non stick pan fry the bacon till crisp. Drain over paper towels and set aside.
Drain the lentils in a sieve, discarding any liquid. place in the salad and toss in the vinaigrette. Let it it for about 10 minutes to absorb the dressing. Add the onion and ham.
Sprinkle with the chives and bacon and taste for seasoning. Serve warm.