Reininger Loves Food : Warm Lentil Salad with Andouille, a Perfect Summer Pairing for Helix SoRho
Nothing says summer like the warm sun hitting your face as you enjoy good company and wine on a big blanket laid out on the grass. It’s beautiful and bright outside in the Walla Walla valley, and harvest hasn’t yet started so the air isn’t completely filled with dust. It’s the perfect time for an early evening picnic with easy to make and even easier to serve dishes and the Helix SoRho. Treat yourself to a French escape with this classic bistro recipe and that beautiful little Southern Rhône blend straight out of the fields of the Columbia Valley. If you haven’t been exposed to it yet, Andouille, or “rascal”, is a French sausage most often used in the states in Cajun cuisine. Here it provides the perfect meaty bite when combined with lentils and Provençal herbs. This salad tastes even better when prepared the day before. To round out your picnic, grab some blue cheese, such as a maytag, a baguette, and a fresh butter lettuce salad. For dessert, real farmer’s market strawberries would make a delicious treat and pair beautifully with the SoRho.
Warm Lentil Salad with Andouille
From Gourmet Magazine, 1991
- 2 cups French green lentils (13 oz), picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1 California bay leaf or 2 Turkish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 lb Andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring lentils, water, and bay leaf to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, then simmer lentils, covered, until tender but not falling apart, 3 to 5 minutes.
While lentils simmer, cook onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just softened, 7 to 9 minutes.
Make vinaigrette by whisking together vinegar, mustard, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a slow stream, whisking until blended well.
Drain lentils in a colander, discarding bay leaf, and return to saucepan along with vegetable mixture and vinaigrette. Cook over low heat, stirring, until heated through. Keep warm, covered.
Brown Andouille in cleaned and dried 12-inch heavy skillet (in 2 batches if necessary), turning over once, about 2 minutes per batch. Stir Andouille and parsley into lentils. Can be made 2 days ahead and held in the refrigerator.