Beluga Lentil Salad with Pear, Blue Cheese and Thyme

by eat in my kitchen

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese

When I went through the shelves of my pantry to bring some order to the boxes and bags filled with all kinds of dried lentils, beans and seeds, an open bag of Beluga lentils fell into my hands. I could have chosen Swabian Heirloom lentils, or the red, yellow or green legumes, but this time my eyes got stuck on these pearly black beauties.

The black seeds inspired me to make a salad that looks like it came right out of a Renaissance painting, dark, dramatic and a bit mystic (although it’s just food, it has its own aura). Beluga lentils don’t need much preparation, no soaking in water and they’re done in just 20 minutes. I cooked them with a bay leaf and a handful of lemon thyme sprigs and stirred in a little bit of olive oil after they soaked up all the cooking liquid. For my salad, I cut a firm pear very thinly with a cheese slicer and arranged the sweet slices on top of the warm lentils with small lumps of Fourme d’Ambert. You could also use a ripe Stilton or a soft Gorgonzola if you prefer a more subtle blue cheese flavour.

I like it when the white cheese melts into the warm dark lentils but you can also serve it as a cold salad.

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese

Beluga Lentil Salad with Pear, Blue Cheese and Thyme 

For 4 people you need

Beluga lentils, rinsed, 220g / 8 ounces
bay leaf 1
fresh sprigs of thyme, a small handful (if the sprigs are woody just use the leaves)
olive oil
blue cheese, broken into lumps, 120g / 4.5 ounces
ripe but firm pear, cut in half, cored and sliced with a cheese or vegetable slicer, 1
salt and pepper

Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package with the bay leaf and thyme but without salt. Mine needed 2o minutes in 750ml / 1.5 pints of water. If the lentils don’t soak up all the liquid, drain them but keep the cooking liquid and the sprigs of thyme. Stir a splash of olive oil into the lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste. Now, you can add a little of the cooking liquid if the salad is too dry.

Put the lentils into a large bowl with some of the thyme sprigs and arrange the pear and cheese on top. Serve warm or cold.

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese

 

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese

 

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese

 

Beluga Lentils with Pear and Blue Cheese