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French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts From 'My Paris Kitchen'

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[Photograph: Ed Anderson]

I love lentil salads. They're hearty, healthy, and (most importantly) resilient, holding up well for days in the fridge. I make a huge batch of some sort of lentil salad at least every couple of weeks and dip into the bowl for snacks and lunches just about every day. David Lebovitz's version of the French classic in his new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, is a great salad to add to my repertoire. Made with sturdy lentils du Puy and a simple Dijon vinaigrette, the salad doesn't stray far from expected flavors. But each bite sings in perfect harmony with the next, making this dish a perfect template for experimentation.

Why I picked this recipe: I may have a lentil salad addiction.

What worked: I especially appreciated Lebovitz's streamlined cooking method for the lentils and vegetables: they all go into the same pot of water, staggered to ensure proper cooking.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: While Lebovitz uses parsley, walnuts, and goat cheese, you could mix-and-match different herbs, nuts, and cheese as you'd like. For example, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan would give the salad an entirely different identity.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of My Paris Kitchen to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to KQED's Bay Area Bites, SFoodie, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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