culinary review

Lentil Salad with Red Onion, Asparagus & Bacon

Last Modified: 08/25/10
First Published: 05/12/10
Views: 796
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Views: 796
This salad is just great when you want a complete meal that incorporates lentils and fresh vegetables. You could really add any nice vegetables in season to this salad as well as some brown rice, quinoa or bulgur for instance if you want to add some good carbohydrates. This salad just tastes of spring and summer, you can either serve it warm, at room temperature or cold, so it's great for buffets and informal dinner parties. Bacon adds such a wonderful flavor and body to this dish, it would be a shame to leave it out – however if you're looking for a vegetarian dish, then maybe some smoked tofu would be a nice substitution.

4-6 servings


  • 1 pound of bacon
  • 2 cups lentils (brown or lentils de puy)
  • 1 pack of asparagus, washed and cut
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • salt and pepper

Cut the bacon up finely and saute in a pan until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper lined plate, and save 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Meanwhile, cook the lentils in water on the stove until they are cooked through (don't overcook them!), for about 30 minutes.

Make the vinaigrette in a big serving bowl: whisk the mustard, vinegars, garlic and herbs together. Whisk in the bacon fat and taste with salt and pepper. Add the thinly sliced red onion to the dressing.

As soon as the lentils are cooked through, drain them and add them to the dressing. Cover with foil and let soak up the flavor until the other ingredients are ready. Bring some new water up to a boil in a pot, add a generous amount of salt and add the carrots and the asparagus. Cook in boiling water for about 2-4 minutes until they are a bit softer. Once they are cooked, add that to the bowl as well.

Mix the salad well and sprinkle the crispy bacon bits on top. Serve on top of some nice salad leaves and with some crusty bread on the side.