I first started making vats of these lentils when I was pregnant with my twins and hungry all the time! Now I make it for just about every school potluck meal. It’s perfect for grownups just out of the refrigerator, as well as at room temp in the kids’ lunch boxes.
Cook 2 cups french lentils with enough water to cover generously (an inch or two above the lentils).
Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. If you tie the thyme into a bundle it makes it easier to fish out the stems after cooking.
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12-25 minutes or until tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are done just add a bit more water. Once the lentils are tender drain any remaining liquid and transfer lentils to a bowl.
Remove the garlic cloves and save for use in the vinaigrette. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems.
While lentils are cooking dice about 6 carrots and 6 stalks of celery. Add to the bowl with the lentils.
For the dressing, mash the garlic and chop it into a paste. Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine and add to lentil salad. Chop a bunch of fresh parsley leaves and stir into salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.