Cooking with Parsley: French Lentils

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Parsley plays an important part in this delicious summer fare - French Lentils and Couscous Salad.

<em>Serves 4 to 8</em>
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The cool and hot counterpoints of parsley and mustard add an extra dimension to these toothsome lentils. Use only tiny, deep green French lentils; they’re available in gourmet food stores.</p>
<p>• 2 cups (about 12 ounces) Verte du Puy lentils<br />
• Water<br />
• ½ cup finely minced parsley<br />
• ¼ to ½ cup red wine vinegar<br />
• 2 to 4 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard<br />
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil<br />
• 2 to 4 cloves garlic, mashed<br />
• Salt to taste<br />
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste<br />
• Hot pepper sauce to taste (optional)</p>
<p>1. Rinse the lentils and remove any stones or debris. Place them in a large saucepan with water to cover. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are barely tender. Add water as needed to prevent them from boiling dry.</p>
<p>2. Drain off any excess water. Place the lentils in a bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients, starting with the smaller amounts of vinegar and mustard and adding more to taste. Serve warm or chill immediately and serve cold.</p>
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<em>Cornelia Carlson, an inveterate herb gardener, has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She is the author of</em> The Practically Meatless Gourmet <em>(Berkley, 1996) and a contributor to</em> Nutrition Secrets of the Ancients <em>(Prima, 1996).</em>
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