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Are you pedaling a bike through the fields of Provence? Strolling a village in Spain? Me neither. But this dish makes me feel like I'm getting a taste of that life.

Vegan Lentil and Fennel Salad

2 fennel bulbs

1 pound small lentils, preferably le Puy or beluga, rinsed and drained

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

1 onion, finely diced

2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, washed well and cut into thin half-moons

2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup sherry or balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ cup chopped dill

Pick the fronds off the fennel and reserve for garnish. Thinly slice the stalks and reserve the bulbs.

Combine the lentils, celery, onion, leeks, carrots, sliced fennel and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, about 45 minutes. If the water absorbs fully before the lentils are cooked through, add more.

Drain the lentils if needed, then transfer to a large bowl and add the vinegar, oil, mustard and dill. Fold until evenly coated, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. (Salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days at this point.)

Halve the fennel bulbs, core and thinly slice. Scatter over the salad, along with the reserved fennel fronds. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Food on 10/09/2019

Print Headline: Fennel and lentil salad conjures feel of France

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