Recipe: Arugula with Lentils and Bacon

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By Larissa Phillips

This classic French country salad is rugged and delicious. Don't be tempted to substitute regular lentils; the little green ones hold their shape when cooked and are essential to the dish. Vegetarians can substitute crumbled goat cheese for the bacon.

Kid-friendly tip: Give children a deconstructed version of this dish: separate piles of bacon, lentils and croutons.


  • 1 bunch arugula, washed and dried

  • 3/4 cup green lentils, cooked and cooled

  • 3 to 5 slices of thick-cut bacon

  • About 2 Tbsp. goat cheese (more if not using bacon)

  • 2 or 3 slices of Vidalia onion (optional)

  • 1/2 loaf of crusty French bread

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper


  1. Soak the onion slices in enough red wine vinegar to cover, with a dash of sea salt, for about 15 minutes. This will mellow them.

  2. Cut the French bread into 1-inch squares. Heat a dash of olive oil in a pan, and sauté the bread until just beginning to brown. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

  3. Cut the bacon crossways into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cook in a pan until just crisp; drain on paper towels.

  4. Toss the arugula thoroughly with a couple dashes of olive oil, followed by a dash of red wine vinegar. Then add the lentils, the bacon or goat cheese, and the croutons. Toss and serve.

Serves two as a main dish; four as a side salad.