For this salad, use only the best: tiny, earthy lentilles du Puy from the Haute-Loire in France.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 lb. lentilles du Puy, picked over and rinsed
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 cups dijon mustard
- 1⁄4 cups red wine vinegar
- 5 Tbsp. peanut oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
- Put lentils into a large pot, cover with cold water by 1 1⁄2", and add onion halves, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the dressing, put mustard, vinegar, and oil into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined but not emulsified. Set dressing aside.
- Drain lentils, then remove and discard bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and onions. Transfer warm lentils to the bowl with dressing, add shallots, and toss with a wooden spoon until lentils are evenly coated. Adjust seasonings. Serve at room temperature.