Lentil Salad With Goat Cheese
2 Cups lentils
1 teaspoon salt
10 to 12 Sprigs Italian parsley, divided use
12 to 15 sprigs fresh basil, divided use
6 to 8 Cloves garlic, divided use
1 Each – carrot, red onion, celery rib, diced
1 to 1 1/2 Cups virgin olive oil, divided use
8 Ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 Cup snipped chives
1/3 to 1/2 Cup red wine vinegar, divided use
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
8 to 10 Basil leaves
1 to 2 tomatoes for garnish
Pick over, rinse and put lentils in a sauce pan barely covered with water. Add salt. Make a bouquet garni by tying half of the parsley, basil, and garlic (crushed) in cheesecloth. Add to the lentils and simmer about 10 minutes.
Add vegetables and simmer about 10 to 15 minutes until lentils are tender but al dente. Add more hot water if necessary to prevent lentils from sticking. There should be very little liquid left when lentils are done.
Discard bouquet garni and toss lentils and vegetables with 1/3 cup of oil. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, finely chop remaining parsley, basil and garlic. When cool, combine lentils and vegetables with 1/2 cup of oil, 1/3 cup vinegar and remaining ingredients except basil leaves and tomatoes for garnish. Refrigerate at least two hours.
Remove one hour before serving. Adjust seasoning, oil and vinegar. Garnish with tomatoes cut into wedges and basil leaves cut in strips.
Serves 6 – 8