French Lentil Salad with Sausage Craft's Saturday Night Sausage and Herb Oil

French Lentil Salad with Sausage Craft's Saturday Night Sausage and Herb Oil

This recipe is a meal kit rockstar. You can put together the lentil salad and the herb oil when you have time, and keep it for the busy weeknight that you really want a great meal but don't feel like a big production in the kitchen. The sausage part literally takes five minutes, another three for plating it up and you've got gorgeousness on the table within 10 minutes. Toss a simple green salad together or the Shaved Fennel Salad recipe kit and you're a happy camper. And so is everyone else that gets to enjoy this meal!

A little about the swahsawzzz: The Saturday Nite Sausage from Sausage Craft in Richmond, VA is made with fine-ground pork flavored with garlic, local Hardywood Park beer, and lots of Siracha sauce which makes it spicy-good! We think the spiciness with the cool lentil salad and herby oil is like the high wire dudes at Cirque du Soleil....balanced beyond belief. However, if you've got littles or less adventurous palates at home you can order this kit with the more mild and equally delicious Amerikraner which is a pork and beef sausage with sharp cheddar, pickled cherry peppers and all kinds of tastiness. The kit is presented twice; one with each sausage, in our ordering section.

French Lentil Salad with Sausage Craft's Saturday Night Sausage and Herb Oil

For the salad:
1 carrot, peeled
1/2 bunch celery (about 5 ribs)
1 leek
1/2 red onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup French green Puy Lentils
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the herb oil:
1 cup good olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sausage:
1 pound sausage
butter or oil for pan

Finely dice all of the vegetables. heat the broth in a pot until just under a boil. Heat the oil in a wide pan and add all of the vegetables and the lentils. Saute over medium high until hot but not soft. Add the wine (or water) and continue to stairs. Add the hot broth slowly so that the veggies and lentils are always simmering. You don't want to add it all at once or you'll slow the cooking process. Keep stirring and simmering the lentils until they are al dente. Green lentils don't get soft and mushy like a brown or red lentil which is what makes them so great for salads. When the lentils are done, take them off the heat and and spread out to cool. All of the liquid should be absorbed. When cool, add salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze in half the lemon worth of juice. Toss the chopped parsley through the lentils. From here, you can either use the lentils as a warm salad, or you can pop them in the fridge and use them when you are ready to make and serve the rest of the dish.

To make the herb oil, put the oil, chives and the other half of the parsley in a blender. Blend on high until the herbs are very finely chopped and part of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. I put it in a jar and use it throughout the week. There is a lot and you only need a bit for this dish. Use it in dressings, in pasta, on sandwiches or try it on eggs. You can make this ahead of time, just like the salad.

When ready to make your dish, slice the sausage into ovals, or in halve lengthwise. Put some butter or olive oil (I like butter. You need very little) in a saute pan and bring it up to a sizzle. Pop in the sausage and cook on each side until browned and cooked through. It will only be about 2 minutes per side. You can also grill your sausages. Arrange lentils on each plate (I used a square ramiken, packed the lentils in and then turned them out on the plate, but a nice pile is fine too). Arrange the sausage pieces around the lentils, drizzle on some of the herb oil and enjoy! I serve some grainy mustard with this too.