Saturday, October 01, 2011


serves six

For the dressing
1½ tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of caster sugar

For the salad
6oz Puy or Umbrian lentils
½ small onion, very finely chopped
½ stick celery, very finely chopped
3½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoon finely chopped parsley
12oz Jerusalem artichokes, washed
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
5½oz chunky bacon lardons
3½oz baby spinach
5½oz wild and/or oyster mushrooms, sliced if large
1oz unsalted butter

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.

Rinse the lentils, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook until done – 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure they are tender but holding their shape. While they are cooking, gently sauté the onion and celery in 1 tbsp of the oil until soft but not coloured. Add the lentils and stir to soak up the juices. Add the parsley and two thirds of the dressing and season.

Cook the artichokes in boiling salted water to which you've added a good squeeze of lemon (this stops them discolouring). Once they're just tender, but still have a little bite, drain them and slip off the skins. Slice into rounds 0.5cm (¼in) thick. Heat 1½ tbsp of the oil in a pan and sauté the artichoke slices and bacon until coloured and cooked through. Try not to overcook the artichokes.

Toss the spinach, bacon and artichokes with the rest of the dressing and divide between six plates, arranging them in the centre. Spoon the lentils around this and quickly sauté the mushrooms in the final tbsp olive oil and the butter. Season. Put the mushrooms on top of each salad. Drizzle with the juices from the pan and serve immediately.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Diana Henry, The Telegraph, January 17, 2011

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