When the cold of winter comes on, I don’t crave cold salads and raw vegetables, I like my vegetables cooked and my salads warm, or at least want some warmth, and cooked lentil salads are perfect for winter. The thing I like about this lentil dish is they can be a bowl of comfort food unto themselves, with the flavors of the onions and feta and pears balancing out the red wine vinegar, or you can scoop some onto a pile of winter greens for a complete meal. Either way, you’ll have a happy belly.
- 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed clean and picked over
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 or 4 grinds fresh black pepper
- sea salt to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 8 slices Red Anjou pear
- 8 slices Green Anjou pear
- In the 2-quart pot, cover the rinsed lentils with enough water to make them float, and cover with the lid. Bring the lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well.
- While the lentils cook, sauté the onions in the 8-inch pan over medium low heat in the olive oil until the onions turn brown and caramelize, about 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary so the onions don’t burn, and add a little more olive oil if the pan starts to dry up. After the onions finish cooking, drizzle in the red wine vinegar and stir.
- Toss the drained lentils and onions together. Season with black pepper and sea salt. Gently toss in the Feta cheese. Serve in bowls or on top of winter greens, and garnish with slices of Red and Green Anjou pears.
2-quart pot with lid
Green lentils are firmer than the more widely available brown lentils and will hold up better, but you may have to look for them in a specialty aisle in your grocery store. You can substitute apples for the pears.