Did you know that Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of lentils? High in protein and low in fat, lentils are by far one of our nation’s unsung culinary superstars. In the fall when the weather turns cool, it’s nice to have a warm salad paired up with bits of bacon and creamy egg for lunch or a light dinner. With a bit of crusty bread to soak up any stray egg yolk, you will find this dish as delicious as it is filling and nutritious.
- 3/4 cup green lentils
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 leeks, rinsed well and chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried, crumbled)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-8 large eggs
- Put the lentils in a small saucepan along with about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.
- In a large, deep fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces until browned and crisp. Remove them from the pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but about 1 tbsp of bacon fat from the pan. Turn the heat to medium low and add the leeks, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pan and saute, stirring frequently, until tender. Don’t let the garlic burn or it may taste bitter.
- Stir in the vinegar, cooking until it’s almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the drained lentils, tarragon, and baby spinach. Continue to cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts. Taste and correct for seasonings. Set the pan aside on the stove, off the heat.
- Fry up the eggs and serve the salad divided among four plates, topped with an egg or two.
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