Friday, July 2, 2010

warm lentil, roasted beet, and goat cheese salad

tonight is my first night of vacation. I used the beets and red lettuce from my Enterprise Farms CSA to make this salad for dinner. I didn't use a cheesecloth bag and just fished out the celery and bay leaf, celery and carrots in. I am enjoying it with a gin and tonic and Lost in LaMancha, the doc about Terry Gilliam's attempt to film Don Quixote (which would have starred Johnny Depp)

warm lentil, roasted beet, and goat cheese salad

1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and sliced into weges
1 carrot, quartered
1 stalk celery, quartered
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups dried French green lentils
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound slab bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 shallot minced
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
4 cups frisee or mixed greens
Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows
4 slices goat cheese
French bread, for serving
Begin by roasting the beets.

put onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs together in chicken stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the celery, thyme sprigs, and carrot.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until lightly golden brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the garlic, shallot, and carrot to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the chopped thyme and 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm.

To assemble, place the frisee in a large bowl, toss with half of the vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the roasted beets around the outside of 4 dinner plates. Divide the greens among each plate in the center. Top the frisee with some of the warm lentils and place a slice of the goat cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve with slices of French bread.

Roasted Beets:
3 medium beets (red or gold), scrubbed, leaves trimmed

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Coat beets lightly with oil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Sherry Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 shallot minced

1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallot, thyme and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until emulsified.

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