• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 rib celery, finely chopped
• 1 medium carrot, scrubbed well then finely chopped
• 1 c. dried French du Puy lentils, rinsed
• Fine sea salt
• 1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
• 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 c. fresh dill, chives, basil or mint, or a combination, finely chopped
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn into bite-size pieces
• Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown and fragrant, shaking the pan to keep the nuts from scorching. Cool completely before using.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, celery and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the lentils, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and just enough water to cover. Increase the heat to bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat so it is barely bubbling around the edges; cook until the lentils are just soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the lentils.
While the lentils are cooking, combine the mustard, vinegar, herbs, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and pepper to taste in the bowl of a food processor or blender, or in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil, pulsing or whisking by hand to form a vinaigrette. Taste, and add fine sea salt as needed.
Spoon the warm lentils onto plates. Top with the mozzarella, and sprinkle the cheese with coarse sea salt. Scatter the almonds over the mozzarella and lentils, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 550 Fat 37 g Sodium 460 mg