Goat Cheese and Lentil Salad Print
2 cups lentils
1 tsp salt
10 to 12 sprigs Italian parsley
12 to 15 sprigs basil
6 to 8 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 red onion
1 celery rib
1 to 1 & 1/2 cups virgin olive oil
8 oz got cheese
1/2 cup sniped chives
1/3 to 1/2 cup strong red wine vinegar
Ground black pepper

1 or 2 ripe tomatoes - for garnish
8 to 10 basil leaves - for garnish

Pick over lentils, removing any foreign matter and rinse them. Barley cover elntils with water in a saucepan. Add 1 tsp salt. Make a bouquet garni by tying 6 to 8 sprigs of Italian parsley, some of the basil, and 3 to 4 cloves garlic unpeeled and slightly crushed in cheesecloth. Add the bouquet garni to the lentils and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer lentils for 10 minutes. Cut peeled carrot, red onion, celery rib into a fine dice. Add vegetables to lentils and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until lentils are tender but al dente. If necessary, add hot water, 1/4 cup at a time to keep lentils from sticking. There should be very little liquid when lentils are done.
When lentils are cooked, discard bouquet garni, toss lentils with 1/3 cup olive oil and spread on baking sheets to cool to room temperature. If the goat cheese tastes very strong, trim outer rind to the chalk white center. Crumble cheese coarsely over into large bowl. Finely mince remaining stemmed parsley and peeled garlic cloves.
Add lentils and vegetables to bowl with cheese, along with minced parsley, garlic and 1/2 cup snipped chives. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and an ample amount of freshly ground black pepper. Toss well and taste for balance and salt. Cover salad and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove salad from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving and taste again for balance in the vinaigrette, you may need more vinegar, oil, salt or pepper. Just before serving, garnish with tomatoes cut into wedges and basil leaves cut into very fine strips.

Makes 20 side-salad servings (1/2 cup each).
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