Kielbasa & Lentil Salad

This recipe is from the peerless Ina Garten, who, like Julia Child, guides all of us in our cooking endeavors like a food fairy godmother. I’m just being silly now, but really, her book Cooking for Jeffrey is AMAZING.

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  • olive oil
  • 2 cups medium-diced leeks, white and light green parts
  • 1 cup (1/4-inch diced) carrots (2 carrots)
  • 1 pound green French Le Puy lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 whole peeled onion stuck with 6 whole dried cloves
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 5 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 10 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick diagonally
  • 6 (1/2-inch thick) diagonal slices of a baguette (optional)
  • 4 ounces of herbed goat cheese, such as Montrachet (optional)
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks, and cook uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, onion, turnip, and 6 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Place the lentils in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil, add to the lentils and toss. If it’s dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid.
  4. Add the scallions, thyme, parsley, kielbasa, 2 teaspoons o salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss. Set aside to cool. [I found when I put all the dressing, the salad was a bit acidic/salty for my taste, so I would add the dressing in small amounts to your liking.]
  5. Optional: Toast the baguette slices and spread with the goat cheese. Taste the salad for seasonings, and serve at room temperature with the goat cheese toasts.
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