Peel the onion. Wash the lentils under cold water in a colander. Place the lentils in a large saucepan with 8 cups (2 liters) cold water. Salt lightly, add the onion, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 1 1/2. hours, or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart.
Remove the rinds and cut the salt pork or bacon into .-in. (1-cm) cubes. Wash and finely chop the chives. Peel and chop the shallot, and set aside. Fifteen minutes before serving, fry the salt pork or bacon until the pieces have browned on all sides, then pour off the fat, remove from the heat, and cover the pan to keep warm.
Make a dressing by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
Once the lentils are done, remove the onion and drain the lentils in a sieve or colander. Place them in a large salad bowl with the chives, shallots, and dressing. Toss gently to season, and place the pieces of bacon on top. Serve warm with country-style bread.
The Complete Bocuse
Paul Bocuse, whose restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges in Lyon has retained its three Michelin stars since 1965, shares 500 easy-to-prepare, traditional French recipes in his new collection The Complete Bocuse, published by Flammarion. Aimed at the beginner, these dishes can easily be made at home with fresh and widely available ingredients.