Salad Lentil Salad with Mustard Vinagrette

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@KingShapton posted what sounds like a terrific coleslaw laced with mustard, reminded me of this recipe, thought I'd post it. I have some close friends who live in Ghent (Gent) who brought me to this little historic mustard store in the center of the city where I got the most, ahem, attention getting mustard I ever tasted. It was DELICIOUS. I smuggled five jars back to the United States, hoping everyone in charge of airplane security would realize that mustard is a solid, not a liquid.

Have some OTHER dear friends who live outside of Brussels who heard me waxing poetic about the mustard from Ghent while I was serving this lentil salad to them on New Years Day (good luck, you know?). They flew home, found the only other place in their country to buy this mustard outside of Ghent (some specialty store in Brussels) and had my girlfriend smuggle me back five more bottles.

So, without further ado, and with a head nod to both Kobe and Cho and Bart and Francoise, here's my lentil salad with mustard vinaigrette. Pull out your spiciest Dijon style mustard and go for it!

Step 1-Cook the lentils
Get 250 g of French Lentils (Rancho Gordo or du Puy are the best) and simmer them with a little thyme in a sachet and some salt until they're done. NOT mushy.

Step 2-Make a mirepoix
Cut an onion, a carrot and some celery for mirepoix. I like the pieces bigger than lentils, but I know you guys, you can make it fine. Saute the onion and carrots in olive oil (salt) for a few minutes, then add the celery and cook a few minutes more. I like the celery a bit crisp (depending on what it's accompanying, sometimes I use fennel instead of celery). Hold it off on the side.

Step 3-Make the mustard vinagrette
Chop a shallot fine, add a good tablespoon sherry vinegar to it in a small jar. Add salt and let it sit for a few minutes. Add a tablespoon of mustard, cover and shake. Add the olive oil and shake the jar vigorously to emulsify the vinagrette.

Step 4-Combine
Drain the lentils, add the vegetables, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Good picnic food too.

And if you're ever in Ghent, find this store and stock up. Luckily, I did!


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