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Dinner Tonight

Dinner Tonight: Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

Dinner Tonight: Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

I've become rather enamored of lentils lately. They're cheap, versatile, and more nutritious than carbohydrates like rice and pasta (lentils are a legume, like beans). They're a go-to ingredient when you want to stretch a meal a bit further.

Lentils and sausage are a classic combination, often as a stew, probably because it's such an affordable way to serve a lot of people. The sausage becomes a seasoning, rather than the main event.

This recipe, from St├ęphane Reynaud's Pork & Sons (previously a "Cook the Book" on Serious Eats), simmers the sausages in the same pot as the lentils so the flavors and fats infuse. The earthy lentils are then tossed with a balsamic-based vinaigrette that's fortified with a little bacon (which is never a bad thing), then topped with the sausage. The original recipe was more complicated and called for walnut oil, but I simplified, replacing it with olive oil, and was happy with the results.

Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

About the author: Blake Royer lives in Brooklyn and spends most of his free time cooking and writing about it here at Serious Eats and on The Paupered Chef. From 9 to 5 weekdays, he works as an assistant book editor in Manhattan.

Dinner Tonight: Warm Sausage and Lentil Salad

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About This Recipe

Yield:4
This recipe appears in: This Week in Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups green lentils, preferably Puy, the French green kind
  • 2 links Italian sausage, about 1/2 pound
  • 1/3 cup chopped bacon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  • Slim bunch of chives, chopped

Procedures

  1. 1

    Simmer lentils with sausage in plenty of water and a bouquet garni (French for "garnished bouquet"; optional), for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. (Other types of lentils will require less cooking time.)

  2. 2

    In the meantime, saute the bacon over medium heat until browned but not crisp.

  3. 3

    Combine the Dijon, olive oil, shallots, chives, and bacon with its fat in a small jar or bowl. Shake well or whisk, then add the balsamic vinegar little by little to form a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. 4

    Once cooled, slice the sausage. Toss the lentils with the vinaigrette and top with the sliced sausage. Finish with a little chopped shallot, chive, and the hazelnuts.

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