Recipes Nugget Markets Signature Recipes
Herbed Fennel French Lentil Salad
- Prep time
- 25 minutes PT25M
- Cook time
- 1 hour PT1H
- 4–6 servings
The vibrant flavors of fennel and garlic make this French lentil salad a standout side dish or vegetarian entrée, perfect for dining al fresco!
French Lentil Salad:
- 12 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heads fennel
- ½ cup yellow onion, small diced
- 1 cup French lentils, checked for stones and rinsed
- 2 yellow squash, small diced
- 2 zucchini, small diced
- 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and oblique cut
- 5 ounces arugula
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Fennel Herb Dressing:
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted and coarse ground
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 sprig rosemary, picked
- 2 tablespoons thyme, picked
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ cup sunflower oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the lentil salad, slice 10 cloves of garlic very thin and place in a small sauce pot with extra virgin olive oil. Stir gently and heat on medium-low until garlic is golden brown and stops bubbling. Remove garlic chips from oil and drain on a towel; reserve the oil.
Mince remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Fine dice ½ cup fennel and medium dice the rest. Heat 1 tablespoon of garlic oil in an 8-quart sauce pot on medium heat. Sauté the fine-diced fennel with the onion and minced garlic until they begin to caramelize. Add the lentils and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the lentils are tender and still hold their shape. Drain any excess water then chill the lentils.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of garlic oil on high. Add the squash and zucchini in a single layer and quickly sauté to brown. Remove to a tray to chill. In the same sauté pan, add the remaining garlic oil and the carrots and medium-diced fennel. Cook on medium until the fennel and carrots are tender and lightly caramelized; set aside to chill with the zucchini.
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree for 10–15 seconds until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
In a work bowl, mix the cooked vegetables with the lentils, arugula and garlic chips. Dress with the fennel herb dressing to taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.