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Chef Jonathon Sawyer's Red Wine-Braised Lentils & Frisee Salad Dijon

I had an epiphany one day where I was able to take a classical French dish and elevate it. However, let me give you some background on the salad first. You can trace its origins to southern France, where it's typically served as a light midday meal. Traditionally, chefs prepare it without meat, which means diners derive their protein from a legume that's served alongside.

One day at my Italian restaurant, Trentina, I decided to whip up a family meal for my staff before another busy evening. In the mad, crazed fit of preparing this salad, I happened to notice a chunk of bottarga, which are the salted and dried eggs of mullet or tuna, on a cutting board. Seeing that I loved bottarga and this salad, I figured why not add it in my final dish. The decision changed my life, and I haven't been able to envision this recipe without the addition of these luxurious fish eggs since then. You can source bottarga from any Italian market or reputable high-end grocery chain, like Whole Foods. - Jonathon Sawyer

How to Make


  • 1 cup French Green Lentils
  • 1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 cup mirepoix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup salad mirepoix
  • 2 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 head frisee lettuce or chicory, extremely coarse-chopped
  • 2 Tbsp grated bottarga
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 poached eggs
  • 1/4 cup diced crispy bacon

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 Cup Smith's Sour Cream
  • 4 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp and 4 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Clove Crushed Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Rinse the lentils under cold running water. In a large bowl, combine the lentils and 1 quart of water and let soak for a couple of minutes. Remove and discard anything that floats, and then drain.
  2. In a medium stockpot over high heat, combine 2 cups of water, the lentils, vinegar, red wine, and stock mirepoix and bring to a boil. Turn the head to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes; their texture should be fork-tender.
  3. Make the Dijon Vinaigrette. Place the Smith's Sour Cream in a small bowl and stir to remove any lumps. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour (no longer), then remove as much of the mirepoix as possible. Season aggressively with salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Let sit for a couple minutes, then cover and transfer to the refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the lentils with the salad mirepoix, 1 tbsp of parsley, 1/4 cup of vinaigrette, and 1/2 tsp of pepper; season with salt; and stir to mix. In another bowl, combine the frisee, bottarga, and 2 tbsp vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the remaining 1 tbsp parsley.
  6. Divide the lentils among two plates and top each serving with bread crumbs, a poached egg or bacon, and the remaining vinaigrette as desired. Serve immediately


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