We can just go ahead and thank Mr Bobby Flay for this little gem. This is a salad that he serves at Bar Americain, one of his New York restaurants. I made this the other night with the mind set of, it's okay if it's not that great because bacon aside, it's so healthy. Well, my boyfriend and I were in for a wonderful surprise, it tasted amazing. The original recipe calls for sherry vinegar but I prefer balsamic so I went with that. I was worried that the dijon and balsamic vinaigrette would be too bitter and overpowering but it's a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the beets. I've already concluded that this will be on our next dinner party menu. I can't wait to see the look on our guests' faces when I say, "I hope you like lentils and beets!"
1 1/2 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup bacon, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
3 medium beets
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrub beets, wrap in aluminum foil, place on baking sheet and roast in the oven for about an hour or until tender. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel and slice into 1/4" slices.
Bring chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf and thyme. Add lentils, salt and pepper and reduce heat to med-low. Simmer lentils until tender, about 20 minutes. Strain lentils well, remove bay leaf and set lentils aside. In a large saute pan, cook diced bacon over medium heat until lightly golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In the same saute pan add diced carrot and garlic and cook in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Return bacon and lentils to saute pan, add balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
1 TBS dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place a large spoonful of lentils onto plate. Top with beets, crumble goat cheese on top of beets and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with french bread that has been lightly toasted.
Sunday, June 24, 2007