French green lentils, also known as lentilles du puy, take less time to cook and retain their shape, which makes them a perfect choice for preparing salads. Lentils as well as other legumes, or pulses, benefit in digestibility and nutrition by presoaking. Presoaking for ease of cooking in lentils, although not necessary, ensures that they will be easier to digest and the nutrients will be well assimilated when you eat them.
French lentils are fat free, high in protein, minerals and B vitamins. Compared to other legumes and pulses, French lentils are low in carbohydrates.
Make sure you have attached the Versa Loc handles to the culinary basket and sauce pan securely before starting to cook to ensure easy and safe handling.
- Carefully pick through lentils and remove any small pebbles or other debris.
- Place French lentils in culinary basket and rinse thoroughly. Place culinary basket in 3 Qt. (1.8L) Sauce Pan.
- Cover lentils with water, cover with lid and let rest on kitchen counter for at least 1 hour. If it is very hot in your kitchen, place covered sauce pan and basket in refrigerator to soak.
- Prior to cooking, lift culinary basket out of sauce pan, discard soaking water and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Place culinary basket with lentils back in sauce pan. Cover lentils with water and add bay leaves. Place cover on basket and turn temperature to medium-high. When Vapo-Valve™ clicks, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 35 - 45 minutes. (Test lentils for doneness by carefully taking out a spoonful, letting them cool for a few minutes and tasting. They should be soft, yet still firm to bite).
- When lentils are cooked, bring sauce pan with culinary basket over to the sink. Remove culinary basket and place in sink, rinse lentils with cool water and gently shake out excess water. Place drained lentils in large mixing bowl.
- While lentils are cooking, heat skillet over medium heat, When several drops of water sprinkled on skillet skitter and dissipate, add onions and garlic and sauté until onions begin to soften and turn slightly brown.
- Rinse diced eggplant thoroughly with water and drain but do not dry. Add eggplant to skillet and stir to combine with onions and garlic.
- Add salt, basil and oregano to vegetables. Cover using the 12" Electric Skillet cover. When Vapo-Valve™ clicks, reduce temperature to low and cook for 10 - 12 minutes, until eggplant is softened but has a firm texture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked vegetables, lentils and tomatoes.
- Place all dressing ingredients in a small jar (mustard, vinegar, oil and parsley), place lid on jar and shake vigorously to combine.
- Pour dressing over warm salad and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- To serve, place a bed of spinach on plate and serve a portion of lentil and eggplant salad on top.
- Add in 2 tablespoons (17g) rinsed and chopped capers for a salty and tart flavor
- Salad can be served warm or chilled.
- Garnish top of salad with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
- Can substitute golden balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar or cider vinegar.
- You may use your choice of salad greens instead of spinach.