Dried beans might not come to mind when you are looking for an easy meal to feed your family, however lentils are a great source of protein and cook in under a half an hour. During the warmer months I often make large dinner salads because they are crisp, healthy, and can be thrown together in a short amount of time. For tonight's dinner make this lentil salad with bacon, sauteed onions and carrots, and a red wine mustard vinaigrette. Sound good? Want the recipe? Well,

Lentil Salad with Bacon and Frisee
From Everyday Food magazine

1 pound dried lentils
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, picked from thick stems, or more to taste
2 bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 cups frisee or baby lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
  3. Add onion and carrots to rendered fat in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, 15 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, Dijon, and oil; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Combine frisée and 1/3 of the dressing in another bowl; toss to coat. Add lentils, onion mixture, and bacon to bowl with remaining dressing; toss to coat.
  7. To serve, divide frisée among salad plates; top with lentil salad.

Serves 4.