‘Tis the season for summer parties. And this is a fun dish to bring to any gathering of friends and family. Smoky chorizo flavor is played up with a warm smoked paprika vinaigrette and fresh chives.
A few years ago I brought a lentil salad to a family reunion, and I was afraid that it would be a little lonely. It was competing with gorgeous summer salads, everyone’s favorite potato salad, burgers and hotdogs, and nibbles as far as the eye could see on the red checkerboard tablecloth.
But it evaporated “toot sweet.” My grandmother raved about it. My great-aunt raved about it. My cousin’s two little girls raved about it.
And I realized that lentils can more than hold their own at a picnic.
Which I thought was pretty awesome.
Chorizo and Lentil Salad
Yield: 8 side dish servings
1 ½ cups French lentils, rinsed and picked over for any debris
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 oz. of chorizo, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped chives
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, diced
Bring broth and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan, over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until softened.
Drain the lentils, and run under cold water to stop them from cooking.
Fry the chorizo in a medium frying pan, and drain on paper towels.
Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, chives, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper.
Spoon the lentils onto a platter or in a large bowl.
Add the chorizo and bell peppers to the lentils, and stir well.
Drizzle the vinaigrette over the lentil salad.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)