4.4 oz. Puy lentils
2 bay leaves
2-3 shallots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2.1 oz. dried sour cherries
2.3 oz. ml red wine vinegar
8 streaky bacon rashers
2.8 oz. baby spinach
4.2 oz. creamy Gorgonzola cheese
salt and black pepper
Wash the lentils under cold running water and then drain. Transfer to a saucepan and add enough water to cover them by 3 times their height. Add the bay leaves, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are al dente.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the shallots in a pan with 2 Tblsp of the olive oil and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until golden. Add the water, sugar, cherries, and vinegar and continue simmering over a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes, until you get a thick sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Drain the lentils well and immediately add them to the sauce so they can soak up all the flavours. Stir together, taste and adjust the salt again. It will need quite a lot, but remember you are adding bacon and Gorgonzola later, which are salty. Set aside to cool down.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan and fry the bacon in it for 3 minutes on each side, until it turns quite crisp. Transfer to a piece of kitchen paper to cool. Tear the bacon into large pieces and add to the lentils, then add the spinach and stir well. Taste and see if the salad needs any more oil, salt or pepper.
Transfer to serving plates and dot with broken chunks of Gorgonzola.
courtesy of: Shadowcook: Making Cookbook Recipes Work