Kielbasa and Lentil Salad with Warm Mustard Fennel Dressing
1 lb package dried lentils
3 carrots, peeled thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
⅓ cup malt vinegar
2 tbsp coarse grain Dijon mustard
1½ tsp sugar
½ cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb fully cooked smoked kielbasa
3 garlic cloves, peeled and flattened
1 lg fennel bulb with fronds*—bulb and fronds chopped, reserved separately
5 green onions, chopped
2 heads frisée** lettuce or curly endive
Place lentils, carrots and celery in heavy large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover, stir in salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and transfer to bowl.
Whisk vinegar, mustard and sugar in a small bowl to blend. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat and sauté kielbasa until brown (5 minutes). Transfer to plate lined with paper towel, cover to keep warm.
Pour off any fat from skillet. Add remaining olive oil and reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and stir until golden about two minutes. Add fennel bulb and sauté about 4 minutes. Add green onions and stir 1 minute. Whisk in vinegar mixture and bring to boil. Poor fennel mixture over lentils and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Line serving platter with frisée leaves, spoon on lentil salad, arrange kielbasa on top of lentils. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.
Pairs Well With
*FENNEL BULB WITH FRONDS - Fronds are deeply dissected simple leaves that resemble ferns. The leaf includes the whole frilly structure right to where it intersects the stem. It has bright green feathery fronds that resemble dill. The fronds can be used as a seasoning, eaten alone or in salads, or even used to make a tea.
**FRISÉE [free-ZAY] - A member of the chicory family, frisée has delicately slender, curly leaves that range in color from yellow-white to yellow-green. This feathery vegetable has a mildly bitter flavor and is often used in the special salad mix, mesclun. Choose frisée with crisp leaves and no sign of wilting. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. Wash just before using.