RECIPE

CURLY ENDIVE SALAD WITH WARM LENTIL VINAIGRETTE

RECIPE COURTESY JAMES DROHMAN OF LE PICHET AND CAFÉ PRESSE

January 7, 2009

INGREDIENTS

LENTILS

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 shallots, finely shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely shredded
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • ½ cup Madeira
  • 1 tsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 cup demi-glace
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 cup Madeira
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1½–2 cups peanut oil

SALAD

  • 1 head curly endive, broken into bite-sized pieces

DIRECTIONS

Lentils: Cook bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until fat is mostly rendered. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add lentils and cook for another minute. Add Madeira and vinegar. Simmer until wine is almost completely reduced. Add demi-glace, bay leaf, and enough water to cover lentils. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep lentils covered. Discard bay and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Let lentils cool in liquid (do not drain).

Vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, reduce Madeira to about ½ cup. Cool. Transfer to blender, add shallot, garlic, thyme, red-wine vinegar, mustard, and walnuts and blend until smooth. Add peanut oil in a slow, steady stream while blending, and season to taste with salt and pepper. (You should end up with extra vinaigrette.)

Salad: Bring 1 cup of the lentils and a bit of the leftover cooking liquid to a boil in a small skillet. Add Madeira vinaigrette to taste. Toss lentil ragout with curly endive.

Chef Drohman’s serving suggestion: Top with chicken livers sautéed in peanut oil until golden brown and shavings of smoked Idiazábal cheese.

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