Top of the mornin' to you! Hope you had a great weekend and got to indulge in lots of tasty Superbowl vittles and libations. I know, I myself, ate an ample amount of chips and guac as well as those yummy Lit'l Smokies concoctions (you know the ones smothered in BBQ-sauce?)...yes, I know that they're horrendous for you, but Jeebus, they taste so damn good! Anyhow, unlike me, Mr.S. has been taking a healthy approach to eating as of late. He's temporarily decided to lower his carb intake and try to increase his consumption of leafy greens and legumes...including lentils. Now me, I hate lentils...ugh, make that abhor lentils--so he's been on his own on this one; however, boiled brown lentils after awhile can get kind of blah so I took some pity on him and told him I'd try and find him some sort of jazzy lentil preparation...and find one, I did. Now what product can you think of that can instantaneously turn a boring dish into a winning dish?

That's right...bacon. I found a great recipe for French lentils with bacon online and decided to make a batch for Mr.S.. As luck would have it, I was able to track down a box of French green lentils at Corti Brothers and pick up some fresh veggies at the farmers' market this weekend. The recipe was pretty easy...the only thing that took awhile was all the veggie prep; but if you're like me, you probably find it relaxing to chop veggies while listening to some tunes in the kitchen so it doesn't seem like "work." End result was that Mr.S. loved the lentil salad. He couldn't believe the taste difference between this dish and the boring ol' lentils he had been eating. I got several compliments from him...which of course, I accepted graciously---as I popped a few (dozen) chipfuls of guac into my gullet.

French Lentils with Bacon (adapted from a recipe by Answers En Croute)

1/2 lb. thick cut bacon,  cooked then diced

1 small red onion (or 1/2 large), diced

2 large carrots, diced small

5 stalks rainbow chard, stems diced and leaves reserved

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups French green lentils (preferably Puy), rinsed

3 tablespoons of dijon mustard

zest and juice of one small lemon

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat

1/4 cup minced parsley


- Set a pot of water large enough to hold the lentils on the stove and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils to the boiling water and cook until tender, 20-30 minutes and drain.

- In a large pan, cook the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside onto paper towels to drain, and pour all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan (reserve the extra bacon fat for later). Saute the onion, carrot, and chard stems over medium heat until the carrots are just tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Roughly chop the chard leaves and add them to the mixture, along with the garlic, and saute for an additional 2 minutes until wilted. Remove the mixture from the heat.

- While the lentils are warm, assemble the salad. Place the lentils in a large bowl and add in the crisp diced bacon and the onion, carrot, and chard mixture. Toss to combine, and then add the mustard, lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and reserved bacon fat.

- Stir in the minced parsley, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve warm.
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