Lentil Salad with Salami and Giardiniera

We recommend using green French lentils for this salad, as they are less likely to fall apart in cooking. Other lentils that would work well in this recipe are beluga or Castelluccio lentils.

From Young Sun Huh for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 55 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 5 min
Cook: 20 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings (9 cups)
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 pound French lentils, preferably du Puy
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 small carrot, cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 4 chunks
  • 1/2 yellow onion, root intact, cut into 2 wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced salami, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons 2 to 3 inches long
  • 2 cups giardiniera mix, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons giardiniera liquid
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

Put the lentils in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add the smashed garlic, carrot, celery and onion. Salt the water generously. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender but not falling apart yet, about 20 minutes. Pick out and discard the vegetables. Drain the lentils.

While the lentils are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Put the vinegar and shallots together in a large bowl. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the mustard and then 1/2 cup olive oil in a thin stream. Add the lentils directly to this bowl while they're still warm. Toss and set aside the dressed lentils to cool.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salami strips and cook until they're crisp, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

To the lentil bowl, add the chopped giardiniera and reserved liquid, parsley, tomatoes and fennel. Toss and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Top the salad with the crisp salami strips.
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