The start date for the 2011 Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market is set: Sunday June 19th. Mark your calendars and get out your shopping sacks because SLO Farm will be there with their freshest spring produce, along with several other venders. The market will be held from 10 AM until 2:30 PM on the Sun Automotive lot on the corner of Agate Street and 19th Ave.
If your week has been as hectic as ours, here's a delicious and easy dinner salad you could whip up. It is prepared with French green or puy lentils that have a wonderful rich flavor and firm bite (if you don't overcook them); I think of them as lentil caviar. I prepared them with some rendered bacon fat, minced shallot and carrot, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then I layered the lentils over some baby spinach leaves tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. And finally I topped the lentils with a poached egg, which provided a creamy dressing for the salad when pierced, and a sprinkle of bacon bits for a final crunch. Did I mention not to overcook the lentils?
Lentil Caviar Salad with Poached Eggs
- 1 cup French green (puy) lentils
- 1 shallot
- 1 carrot
- 2 bacon slices
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 4 handfuls baby spinach or salad greens
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 eggs
- Prepare the lentils. Dice the bacon (I use kitchen scissors to do this) and saute in a sauce pan until the fat is rendered and the pieces are crisp. Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the shallot and carrot. Remove the bacon bits from the pan and over medium low heat saute the shallot and carrot in the rendered bacon fat. Add the lentils and toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and cook down. Add the water and simmer until the lentils just start to become tender, about 20 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the lentils. Turn off the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of vinegar. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Prepare the salad greens. Mix together the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Toss the spinach or salad greens in the vinaigrette and divide between two plates.
- Poach two eggs for about 5 minutes, so that the yokes are still quite runny.
- Assemble the salad. On top of the greens, layer on a generous serving of lentils. Top with a poached egg, and sprinkle with bacon bits. Enjoy.