Lentil Country Salad by Lidia Bastianich

Lentils are good in soup, pasta and I love making salads with them. This simple salad can be served warm or cold. It is always a welcoming dish since there is something so inviting about it" says Lidia Bastianich

Olio Officina

Lentil Country Salad by Lidia Bastianich

Here is for you the special recipe that worldknown chef Lidia Bastianich cooked for the Gala dinner at Frantoio del Poggiolo during the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. By kind courtesy of the renowned Italian olive oil company Monini.

Serves 6 to 8

1 pound dried lentils, rinsed and drained

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups diced carrot

2 cups diced celery

3 fresh bay leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 ounces pancetta, diced

1/3 cup white wine

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and remove the bay leaves. Scrape the lentils and vegetables in a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about 4 minutes. Pour off most of the fat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of fresh olive oil. Add the wine and vinegar and season the dressing with the salt. Bring to a quick boil, then pour the dressing over the lentils. Toss with the parsley and serve.

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