We love this dish anytime of year as it can be enjoyed both warm or room temperature. It's perfect in our opinion however during the in-between seasons when the weather is neither brutally hot nor bone chillingly cold.
For serving, we try these lentils alongside a big green salad or sautéed spinach.
French Lentils with Dijon & Thyme
1 cup French lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
4-5 cups water
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 thyme sprigs
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp. red wine vinegar
I cook my lentils like pasta. In a medium sauce pot, add lentils, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Cook for 20-24 minutes until the lentils are just tender, but not mushy. At the 15 minute mark, add a good pinch of sea salt. Drain well and remove bay leaf.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan with lid, heat olive oil to medium. Add carrots, shallot, and celery, cooking until shallot is translucent and carrots are just starting to get some color (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, thyme springs, and sea salt. Sauté another minute until fragrant. Add a generous splash of water and cover with the lid for 8-10 minutes (until the carrots are tender, but still have a slight bite). Remove thyme sprigs.
When the lentils have finished cooking, add them to the carrot mixture and stir to combine. Mix in Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve warm or room temperature with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and several grinds of black pepper.
Note: I often make the lentils without the carrot mixture too. They keep well for days and are perfect for bulking up salads and dinner bowls.