This is freely adapted from a Jacques Pepin recipe. I think these French peasant-y dishes are what he does best.
I add substantially more chopped fresh herbs than JP does; they taste good and, just as importantly, by this time in Lent we’re getting tired of meals that are all various shades of brown, so the bright green herbs are cheering.
Good olive oil makes a big difference to the flavor, though it’s still good with standard vegetable oil. You might want to think about saving this for an olive-oil day.
Put 4 potatoes (not Idahos) in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to very low and simmer them until done, about 1/2 hour. Drain them and let them cool.
At the same time, put 3/4 cup lentils in a saucepan with about 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and let them simmer for about 30-45 minutes, until tender. Take them off the heat and let them cool. When they’re lukewarm, drain off any excess liquid.
Slice the potatoes about 1/2 inch thick and put them in a large bowl with the lentils.
- One onion, finely chopped
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Fresh herbs, finely chopped, at least a cup. I used parsley, basil and rosemary.
- 1/4 cup olive or other oil
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar or wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
Gently toss it all together. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. It improves if it’s allowed to sit for awhile: the onion and garlic have a chance to mellow and impart their flavor to the rest of the dish.