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Chef D's French Lentil Salad

Serve this simple salad with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint (Kayte Young/WFIU)

All lentils cook more quickly than larger beans, so they make a good choice for weeknight dinners when you find yourself short on time. For this dish from Chef Daniel Orr, use the small, greenish Lentilles du Puy, also known as French lentils. They have a rich, deep flavor, and they hold their shape better than other lentil varieties.

Chef D's French Lentil Salad


  • 1 cup dry lentilles du Puy, French lentils
  • 3 cups water (to cook the lentils in)
  • a few strips of dried orange peel
  • 2 whole bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1-3 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • juice of one half of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs such as chives, cilantro, mint, parsley or fennel
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the lentils in the 3 cups of water with the orange peel and bay leaf for 15-20 minutes. Taste to make sure they are done. You want them firm but not mushy.
  2. Drain the lentils, allow to cool, then combine with the remaing ingredients.
  3. Serve chilled or room temperature.

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