This is our go-to recipe for when we're too lazy to go pick up ingredients for dinner. Using pantry ingredients, it's a healthy, quick and very satisfying meal. We usually stop by the bakery on our way home from picking Claudia up at school, fresh rolls being the perfect vehicle for sopping up any leftover dressing on your plate.
Go with whatever you have lying around. We start out by sautéing a red or yellow chopped onion, or a nice leek if you have one, in olive oil. We always add something smoky as well, either bacon or cured sausage. A few grated carrots join the pan, and feel free to use whatever veggies you might have that are reaching the end of their life. Celery, spinach and peppers would all be a good choice. Let this cook over low-med heat until it's all good and melty looking.
Bring 6 cups water to a rapid boil and add 1 cup and 1/2 French Puy lentils. I choose these because they're tiny and less starchy than other lentils, but to each their own. I usually add a tablespoon of veggie bouillon for flavour. Cook for about 20 minutes, testing for tenderness and then drain and rinse your lentils in warm water. Set aside.
To make your vinaigrette, add 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup together with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a 1/3 cup olive or canola oil. If I'm feeling ambitious I will mash a clove or two of garlic with a teaspoon of salt in a mortar with pestle and add that to the dressing as well. Either way, you're going to want to add salt and pepper to the dressing, as you haven't added any to the other ingredients yet. Whisk until your dressing comes together.
To assemble, add your lentils to the pan with the veggies and pour over your dressing. Add some crumbled feta to your liking and stir. This is equally delicious, if not better, the next day. Just make sure to omit the "Warm" from the name when you impress your friends with a bistro style lunch.