Weekly Winner: A Midweek Trip to Provence … on a plate

I’ve made no secret of my love of all things French.  This salad is wonderfully Provencal and incredibly surprising.  The lentils are tossed in a mustardy vinaigrette, the pears are sweet and dessert-like, and then the Roquefort is its wonderful pungent self.  The flavors are crazy, complex and seemingly at odds with each other, yet they all come together on the plate to transport you to someplace very French.  Any lunch that can do that midweek in under an hour definitely gets my vote for Weekly Winner.  Perhaps most surprising of all is the source for this recipe … Redbook Magazine.  Goes to show, you just never know where a fantastic recipe will appear!

Provençal Pear, Roquefort, and Lentil Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Lentils

1 cup Puy (green) lentils

1 small carrot, quartered

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed

¼ tsp kosher salt

Dressing

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper Pears

2 firm-ripe Bosc pears, quartered lengthwise

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp packed brown sugar

3 oz Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese, coarsely crumbled

Procedure

1. Lentils: Rinse lentils with cold water. Tie carrot, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf in a bundle with string. Place lentils, bundle, garlic, and salt in a medium saucepan and cover with 4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain, and discard bundle and garlic.

2. Dressing: In a small glass measuring cup, whisk together all ingredients. While lentils are hot, toss with dressing in a large bowl.

3. Pears: Core pears and cut each quarter in half, lengthwise.

4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and sprinkle with brown sugar. Sauté on both sides until golden and slightly caramelized, 5 minutes.

5. Place lentils on a large platter. Arrange pears on top and sprinkle with Roquefort. Serve immediately.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Gift of Pears « Spoon Feast

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