PREP: 15 minutes | COOK: 25 minutes | YIELD: 8 x ½-cup servings

If you have any of my other books, chances are you’ve heard me mention Puy lentils. These lentils are grown in the volcanic soils of the Auvergne region of France, and are considered the finest lentils around because of their delicate properties and subtle, earthy flavor. They are the caviar of lentils, indeed.

1 cup (240 ml) lentilles du Puy (French green lentils)

1 cup (240 ml) low-sodium, gluten-free vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced into 1-inch-long strips

½ yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into 1-inch-long strips

½ red onion, sliced into 1-inch-long strips

4 scallions, halved lengthwise

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (15 ml + 5 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided

½ orange, zested and juiced

1 Tbsp (15 ml) aged sherry vinegar

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) sea salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (120 ml) finely chopped flat leaf parley

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, broth, 1½ cups (360 ml) water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil on high heat, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender but still firm. You want the lentils to hold their shape. Drain any excess liquid, discard bay leaf and transfer to a large bowl.

Place fennel, pepper, red onion and scallions on a baking sheet, keeping scallions separate from other vegetables. Use two baking sheets if necessary. Drizzle vegetables with 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil, season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast in oven, stirring once, until golden brown around edges and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer fennel, pepper and red onion to bowl with lentils, reserving scallions.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining olive oil, orange zest and juice, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over lentils and vegetables, add chopped parsley, and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter and top with roasted scallions. Can be served hot, room temperature or cold.

CHILL OUT

This dish will keep in refrigerator for up to three days.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING:

Calories: 69 | Calories from Fat: 21 | Protein: 3 g | Carbs: 10 g | Total Fat: 2.5 g | Saturated Fat: 0.4 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sodium: 81 mg | Cholesterol: 0 mg