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A hint of warm, earthy cumin adds depth to this wonderfully crunchy and satisfying lentil salad. Note that the recipe calls for French lentilles du Puy. These dark green lentils are especially good for salads because they're packed with flavor and hold their shape when cooked. Common brown or green lentils may be substituted but just be careful not to overcook them, as mushy lentils do not make good salads.

Lentilles du Puy, often called "poor mans caviar," are grown in the rich volcanic soil near Le Puy en Velay in the Auvergne region of France. You can find them at specialty foods shops and some natural foods stores. Be sure they're marked with the A.O.C. (Appelation d'Origine Contrôlée) seal of approval.

For a delicious variation, try crumbling some feta cheese over top.

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French lentil salad >>

About the author: Jennifer Segal is the chef behind the popular food blog, Once Upon a Chef.

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