Le Puy lentils are available at many specialty markets, as is cabernet sauvignon red-wine vinegar (or use another top-quality vinegar). Walnut oil, typically imported from France, adds an aromatic finish to the dish; use olive oil if you like.
|½||cup Le Puy or other French lentils|
|Kosher salt, to taste|
|3||leaves Lacinato or Tuscan kale, stemmed with center spines removed|
|3||tablespoons olive oil|
|4||large Brussels sprouts|
|4||leaves Napa cabbage, stem ends trimmed 3 inches|
|2||ounces imported Greek feta, cut into small cubes|
|2||tablespoons cabernet sauvignon red-wine vinegar|
|1||tablespoon balsamic vinegar|
|½||cup walnuts, chopped|
|1||tablespoon Dijon mustard|
|Juice of ½ lemon|
|1||tablespoon toasted walnut oil|
|Sea salt (for garnish)|
1. Place the French lentils in a small pot and cover with water. Add a generous spoonful of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain, rinse, and drain again; cool.
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2. Tear the kale into 1-inch pieces. You should have about 1½ loosely packed cups. Wash and dry the kale well. Place in a salad bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss and set aside to soften for 45 minutes.
3. Remove the bruised outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Halve each lengthwise and cut out the cores. Remove a few pretty tender outer leaves and set them aside. Very thinly slice the remaining Brussels sprouts. Add to the kale.
4. Shred the Napa cabbage and add to the kale mixture with the feta.
5. In a small saucepan, combine the red-wine and balsamic vinegars, sugar, and currants. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds. Immediately turn off the heat; set aside to cool.
6. In a skillet, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan constantly, until they start to brown.
7. In a small bowl whisk the mustard, lemon juice, and the vinegar mixture. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour ½ the dressing over the lentils and the remaining dressing on the kale mixture. Toss each well; set aside for 10 minutes, stirring several times, for the flavors to develop.
8. Mound the kale mixture on 4 plates. Spoon the lentils in the center on top of the kale. Decorate each salad with some of the reserved Brussels sprouts leaves and sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.