August 31, 2015, posted by Michelle – One of the several ubiquitous dishes here in Lyon is lentil salad. This salad calls for the tiny green lentils de Puy (pronounce “pwee”) and is most often served with saucisson de Lyon (cured, dry sausage with pistachio) and can be served warm or cold. Another version leaves the meat out altogether and still other versions add a poached egg. But in every version the Lentils de Puy are the constant, the MUST.
This tiny green lentil comes from Puy-en-Velay, a city in the Auvergne region of France. So, what’s so special about them? First, they are teeny tiny, about half the size of a regular lentil. Second, the volcanic soil of the region gives the lentils a very particular nutty taste and the texture is firm and not at all mushy. And third, Lentils de Puy are AOC designated, meaning the French government grants the label only to specific producers in a specific region who use traditional production methods. Oh la la.
A friend of mine just visited Puy last weekend and brought back a tin of Sabarot brand lentils for me. You can purchase the very same lentils HERE if you care to try this recipe. I love this salad and it’s very easy to make.
French Green Lentil Salad
8 oz. lentils de Puy
1 carrot, diced in small cubes
1 small white onion, chopped
2 small shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the following for the dressing:
1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook the lentils according to the package directions. If they happen to be in French and you do not parlez le français, then do this: Add the lentils to a pot of cold water. The water should cover the lentils by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and let cook 20 – 25 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and set the cooked lentils aside in a serving bowl. Boil the diced carrots for 5 minutes and set aside. In a saute pan, saute the onions in a little olive oil, adding the garlic after about 3 minutes. Add the cooked carrots and saute another minute or two. Add the mixture to the lentils, stirring well. Add the dressing, shallots, salt and pepper to taste. I like to serve mine cold though you can serve them warm or at room temperature as well. This easily serves 6 as a side dish. Bon appétit!