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Smoked Salmon and Lentil Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
This winning combination is based on a dish we tried at a deluxe restaurant in Germany

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried lentils (preferably French), washed
1/2 bottle dry white wine
salt to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
pepper to taste
2 slices bacon, fried and broken into small, crispy shreds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 pound smoky smoked salmon, sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced, plus additional dill for garnish
4 cups loosely packed salad greens
1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
1. Prepare the lentils: Place them in a small saucepan with the white wine, and add an equal amount of water. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the lentils are just past tough (about 20 minutes). You must be very careful to taste constantly, for in 2 minutes the lentils can go from al dente to mush. When the lentils are done, drain them in a sieve and reserve. You will have about 1 cup.
2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Place the mustard in a small mixing bowl. With a whisk, slowly beat in the vinegar, until a yellow cream is formed. Drop by drop at first, then in a thin stream, beat in the walnut oil. You may have to beat vigorously to achieve a creamy-smooth dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Mix the reserved lentils with the bacon crisps, the shallots, and one third of the walnut-oil vinaigrette.
4. Cut the salmon into 16 pieces; ideally, each one would be about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. In a bowl, toss the slices with the lentils. Add the 2 tablespoons of dill. Wash and dry the salad greens and, in another bowl, toss them with half of the remaining vinaigrette.
5. Assemble the dish: Divide the salmon-lentil mixture among 4 plates, filling one side of each plate with it. Place the greens on the other side of each plate. Pour the remaining vinaigrette over the salmon, and decoratively spread some sour cream between salmon and salad. Garnish with dill.

This winning combination is based on a dish we tried at a deluxe restaurant in Germany. Many chefs around the world today are bringing salmon and lentils together, in all kinds of dishes, but we've not tasted a union that beats this one. Follow with a hearty soup for a great wintertime dinner. Serves 4 as a first course