Fried Eggs and Warm Lentil Salad with Lardons
adapted from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine
• 3/4 cup French green lentils
• 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
• 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped and rinsed clean
• 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
• 1 large carrot, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon ( or about a third of that amount if using dried)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil (for pan)
• 8 large eggs
• 1 cup baby spinach leaves
1. Cover lentils with cold water by 2 inches in a saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 25 minutes.
2. While lentils are simmering, cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet. Add leeks, celery, and carrot to the skillet and cook, stirring, until just tender. Add vinegar and boil until most of liquid is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and stir in tarragon, half of bacon, and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered, reserving skillet.
3. Drain lentils well in a large sieve. Stir into vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm; covered.
4. Wipe skillet with paper towels, then add oil and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Fry eggs in batches until whites are just set but yolks are still runny and season with salt and pepper.
5. Divide lentil salad among 4 plates. Top with spinach leaves, eggs, and remaining bacon.