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Recipe: Lentil and duck salad with hazelnut dressing
Total time: About 40 minutes (may vary, depending on lentils)
Note: In Regina Schrambling's article about the diverse varieties of lentils now available, this warm salad recipe showcased the unique texture and color of French green lentils. Confit duck legs are available at Surfas in Culver City, Nicole's in South Pasadena and select Whole Foods stores.
1 cup French green lentils
1 leek, white part only, cleaned well and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
1 carrot, peeled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Champagne
vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4cup hazelnut oil
2 confit duck legs
1/4cup chopped chives
1tablespoon chopped tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small head frisée, washed, dried well and torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4cup toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1. Pick over the lentils to remove any stones. Rinse well in a fine sieve under cold running water. Place in a medium saucepan. Add the leek, garlic, bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Cut the carrot in half crosswise, then lengthwise and add to the pot. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender but still firm, 17 to 20 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and drain well.
4. While the lentils cook, heat the oven to 500 degrees. Whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil to emulsify.
5. Discard the bay leaves, garlic and carrot from the lentils. Combine the lentils and all but 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette in a shallow bowl, mixing well. Set aside in a warm spot.
6. Lay the duck legs on a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil them 6 inches from the heat source, turning once, until the skin is well crisped and the meat is warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a fork and knife, shred or chop the meat and skin into rough pieces, trimming excess fat.
7. Add the meat to the lentils and mix well. Add the chives and tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
8. To serve, toss the frisée with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and distribute it among 4 salad plates. Top with the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.
Each serving: 480 calories; 28 grams protein; 39 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams fiber; 26 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 52 mg. cholesterol; 863 mg. sodium.