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Poached Eggs Over Warm Lentil Salad with Bacon


Have you ever panicked that there is just so much food and so little time? I do. Frequently.

I remember the first time I felt a pang of THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO EAT AND ONLY SO MANY DAYS IN A WEEK AND HOURS IN A DAY! AND MONTHS IN A YEAR! EVERY DAY I HAVE TO DECIDE! I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE TIME TO EAT IT ALL! THE MATH JUST DOESN’T ADD UP! – it was triggered by a coconut cream pie. So now every time I get overwhelmed by the food possibilities out there (eating in and out), or unreasonably angry that I’ve wasted valuable space and calories on something that was not all it should be, I think of coconut cream pie. OK, not really every time. But sometimes I have my coconut cream pie moments.

I get this feeling a lot when I get sucked into the vortex of food blogs – skipping from one to the next, bookmarking stuff and taking mental notes that invariably more mental notes get loaded on top of until I go a little bit mental. Once in awhile something I see jumps the queue – this was one of them. And I had a bag of the daintiest little Canadian du puy lentils that remind me of smooth, speckled green river stones that I was dying to use.

A Gourmet recipe, it was originally titled “Fried Eggs Over Warm Lentil Salad with Lardons”, which sounds appealingly rustic and British, but of course we don’t generally use the term lardon to describe the bacon in our skillets, and because I’m trying to be a little bit less lardon I poached my eggs instead of frying them. Every little bit helps.

This was actually lunch and dinner; at 6pm I tossed the leftover lentil salad back into the skillet I had just cooked plain old pork chops in, tossing them around to warm them and get some of those flavourful bits. It made a great accompaniment; ditto pork tenderloin or roast, I’d imagine.

Thanks again, Gourmet. (This of course has been adapted – I also tossed the spinach right in and wilted it, rather than scattering it overtop the eggs as per their instruction.) If you want to throw a peeled clove of garlic into the pot of lentils while they simmer, go right ahead.


Poached Eggs Over Warm Lentil Salad with Bacon

Recipe link

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January 11, 2010

  • Makes: Serves 4.


3/4 cup dried lentils (I used little green du Puy lentils)

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste

1 cup baby spinach

1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon (optional)

salt & pepper

4-8 large eggs


1In a small saucepan, cover lentils with about twice as much water, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until just tender. (You can do this ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready for them.)

2While the lentils are simmering, cook the bacon until crisp in a large, heavy skillet; transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the skillet. (If you like, pour them out and add a drizzle of canola or olive oil.) Add the leeks, celery, and carrot and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until it's mostly evaporated. Drain the lentils well and add them to the skillet along with the spinach and tarragon; cook, stirring, until heated through and the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bacon.

3Meanwhile, poach your eggs. Divide the warm lentil salad among 4 plates and top with the eggs.

Makes: Serves 4.

About Julie

29 comments on “Poached Eggs Over Warm Lentil Salad with Bacon

  1. Katharine
    January 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    M….M….M….M…. I’m making this for supper tomorrow, guaranteed!!

  2. sue.d
    January 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    It’s such a bowlful of health and goodness, and yet we still get some bacon with it! And a poached egg – best food ever. I could eat poached eggs every day. Can’t wait to give this a go, I think I may actually be drooling!

  3. Ann
    January 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Looks and sounds fabulous!

  4. robin
    January 11, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    that looks sooo good

  5. Rachel
    January 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Julie, I get that feeling when I’m traveling. I’m going to Montréal in February for Reading Week with a friend, and I amassed an insane amount of recommendations. I had to just delete half of them, to prevent a 5-day food coma. Of course, the list is still pastry/cheese/animal fat/chocolate-skewed, but, I mean, it’s Montréal. I can eat like a normal person at home.

  6. Erica B.
    January 11, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    MMMMMMmmm bacon! I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate more lentils & grains and I found some slab bacon at Innisfail meats. Great timing!

  7. Laurie
    January 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Oh, my lord this looks and sounds incredible! Thank you so much, I’ll make it for breakfast in the morning – though without the bacon because I don’t have any in the house, which means I’ll be *forced* to do it again when I do have bacon. I’ll try to be brave. 😉

  8. Manon from Ontario
    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 am

    You are a funny girl Julie!

    You see, because I was hungry as a child, having very little food in the house at times, it wasn’t funny. Well now if you were to come to my house, you would see food every where, and plenty. I have 3 or 4 different breads in the bread box, then fruits galore, then lots of stashed food in my food pantry, my freezers are full ALWAYS….I think I’m a food horder??

    You are not alone!


  9. Cheryl Arkison
    January 12, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I totally get that panic! And instead of responding I usually tuck myself in and stick with the things I know. Avoiding the issue, really. Hmm, must break free.

  10. sarah @ syrupandhoney
    January 12, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I know the feeling…I’ve felt is strongly for two things: 1) so much food, so little time! and 2) a lifetime is not enough to enjoy the company of my husband. Speaking of which, this recipe sounds so delicious and I think my husband in particular would enjoy it. Bookmarked!

  11. Kathy
    January 12, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I’ve nominated your blog Julie: http://www.canadianweblogawards.com/2009/12/who-what-when-where-and-why-of-canadian.html

  12. rea
    January 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

    break a leg tonite.

  13. JulieVR
    January 12, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Aw, thanks Kathy!! That is so sweet of you!!

  14. Elaine
    January 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I’m the same way. I’ve got a carefully indexed stash of recipes building up on my computer, and unless we have guests over for dinner every night of every week for the rest of our lives, there’s no way I’m going to get through everything.

    It IS depressing. Possibly a little obsessive as well, but definitely depressing.

  15. Betty C
    January 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Julie, I hope you have an amazing time tonight. Thought I would pass along some words of wisdom I was given by my teenage brother many years ago when I was lamenting the fact I had stumpy legs and wasn’t happy how I looked – he told me it really didn’t matter as even if you have really nice legs, they just go together and make an “As_” of themselves anyway! I hope that will put a smile on your face as it does for me when I need some encouragement.

  16. Vivian
    January 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Sometimes just looking through a great cook book (MUST have delectable pictures) is all I need to satisfy “that craving”. In my mind I “make” the dish and can imagine its aromas and taste. Saves a lot of calories…then I fix me some good ol’ bread ‘n’ jam! Such a gourmet!

  17. Laurie
    January 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Anthony Bourdain Day!!

    You go, girl!!

  18. Debbie
    January 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Mmmm…love lentil du Puy. So much, I bought a 10kg bag through my food co-op. Soups, salad, sides. Yum

    This salad looks fantastic. And really, how can you go wrong with bacon and eggs? :) I will definitely have to try this one. Much to Hubs’ chagrin.

  19. Jan (Mixing Bowl Kids)
    January 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Oh, this is my kind of food. I love lentils and what doesn’t taste better with the addition of a bit of bacon. Yum, yum.

  20. LisaMer
    January 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Break a leg tonight, Julie! I wish I could be there to cheer you on. Calgary is lucky to have you!

  21. margo
    January 12, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I agree, Vivian! As much as I love to cook and try new recipes, I have had to come to peace with the fact that I will never be able to try it all, eat it all, have it all, given the amount of information on the internet and in the plethora of books out there. One way of coming to grips with that fact, is just what you said: being able to enjoy and feel satisfaction just reading, appreciating, and imagining many great dishes, while chipping away at the endless (and growing) “list” at a can-do rate, keeping a balance between the tried and true familiar tastes, and the new ones to keep it all interesting and inspiring.

  22. Elsbeth
    January 12, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Just got back from the Anthony Bourdain presentation and have to say it was a great evening! He was compelling and entertaining and you were very clearly excited, enthusiastic and funny in your intro. And from where I was sitting you looked great too. :) I appreciate your self deprecating humour but you could be more gentle with yourself: would you ever say some of the things you say about yourself (out loud, on this site or in your head) to a kid? I just wanted to hug you.
    Can’t wait to see whoever the next visiting foodie is. My vote is Nigella.

  23. Barb
    January 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    This looks delicious! So like something I would enjoy.

  24. molly
    January 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Gah! I’ve been making and eating and pretty much loving warm lentil salads of one stripe of another for years. But they were always missing… something. And really, with all that great food, pretty much isn’t good enough, you know? It was the egg, THE EGG! Why did I never thing about the egg? Genius. So glad you mentioned it.

  25. Marisa
    January 29, 2010 at 7:53 am

    This looks fantastic. Love the oozing egg yolk in the last pic.

  26. Sarah
    February 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make this for months, and I finally got around to it tonight. SO DELICIOUS! My whole family loved it, even my 6 and 8yos. I increased the amount of vinegar and spinach. Can’t wait to make this again!

  27. cory : eat and {relish}
    May 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    OK….so now YOUR mental notes are becoming my mentals notes and contributing to MY own mental case!!! but wow this looks amazing. i just emailed the recipe from gourmet via dinner with julie to myself, to be made tomorrow or wednesday night! i will be sure to link back to you with credit, as I am sure it will be fabulous. looks just so amazing.

  28. Nola
    October 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I had this salad in France 10 years ago and still remember it. So different from anything this Southern girl ever ate. Brought back a can of the de Puy lentils, with directions in French. Kept all on a shelf until the other day when I got recipe booklet down. In French still. Today I did the Google search and here it is! Will make it this weekend. Thanks to you. Ymmmm

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