From Leann Willard, Bayview (Wash.) School of Cooking.
- 1 5-ounce log of quality fresh goat cheese, such as Laura Chenel
- 1/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup French green or brown lentils
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup finely minced celery
- 1/2 cup finely minced carrot
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup snipped chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 12 slices baguette, cut diagonally
- Cherry tomatoes
Cut goat cheese into 4 or 5 equal pieces and place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Cover with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Put the lentils in a saucepan and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add the salt and the thyme sprigs, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Adjust the heat to a low simmer and cook until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and remove thyme.
While lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the drained lentils, sauteed vegetables, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup chives, 2 tablespoons vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat broiler. Toast baguette slices on both sides.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake the goat-cheese rounds until they are warm, about 6 to 8 minutes. Divide lentils among 4 plates. Place a warm goat-cheese round on each mound of lentils. Top with a bit of snipped chives, cherry tomatoes and drizzle of oil from the baking dish. Put 2 or 3 toasts on each plate alogn with cherry tomatos and serve immediately.
Per serving: 583 calories; 38 g fat (11 g saturated fat; 59 percent calories from fat); 50 g carbohydrates; 28 mg cholesterol; 942 mg sodium; 22 g protein; 13 g fiber.