Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

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  • 4Servings


  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, picked over
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium shallots (12 ounces), finely diced
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled


Place the lentils and bay leaves in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the lentils to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the shallots and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the shallots are caramelized (medium brown in color), 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often so they do not burn. Stir in 1/4 cup of the red wine vinegar and cook for 3 minutes, or until the vinegar is absorbed. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 teaspoons of salt, the mustard and pepper. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil to emulsify. Add the crushed garlic and set aside. Just before using, remove the garlic from the vinaigrette.

Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat, add the pine nuts and gently toss until evenly golden, 4 to 5 minutes, taking care the nuts don't burn. Cool the pine nuts on a plate. Alternatively, toast the nuts in a 325 degrees oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Spoon the lentils into a large serving bowl and gently stir in the shallots and vinaigrette. Top with the crumbled goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.