BEANS – Yes lentils are beans and they are not only good for you, they taste good too! This dish can be ready in about 25 minutes. Goat cheese and lentils make a particularly good pairing; the little earthy-sweet legumes love a salty-unami complement (that’s why you so often see them paired with sausage and other cured pork products), and goat cheese fits the bill. Here the combination is especially cozy, as the goat cheese melts into the warm lentils, bathing them in a creamy dressing. This delightful recipe comes from Martha Rose Shulman of The New York Times.
2 cups/14 ounces green, brown, black lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 small or 1/2 large onion, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup broth from the lentils
3-4 ounces goat cheese (to taste), crumbled
2 cups wild or baby arugula
In a medium pot, combine lentils, onion, two of the garlic cloves and the bay leaf with 6 cups water. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to taste, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked through but sill have some texture (they should not be mushy). Taste and adjust salt.’
Using tongs, remove onion and bay leaf. (you may cook lentils up to four days ahead and store in the refrigerator Bring back to a simmer and proceed with recipe).
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together vinegar, remaining garlic, salt to taste and olive oil. Set aside.
Place a strainer over a bowl and carefully drain lentils, reserving 1/4 cup of the broth. Return lentils to the pot. Whisk reserved broth into the dressing, then stir dressing into lentils. Add goat cheese and stir until it has melted into the lentils. Season to taste with pepper. Stir in herbs.
Line a platter, salad plates or bowls with arugula. Top the arugula with lentils. Serve warm.