Wash and pick over 1 cup lentils, removing any small stones or moldy lentils. Place in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Peel and mince 2 cloves garlic. Place minced garlic with 1 bay leaf into saucepan. Bring saucepan to boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium to dimmer, and cover, cooking until lentils are fork tender, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and slice 1 clove garlic thinly. Wash 3/4 lb. spinach or beet greens. If full sized, tear the spinach or beet greens into smaller pieces. Put the greens into a heat resistant salad bowl. Toss the greens with 2 TB apple cider vinegar, a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper, and a pinch of salt. If you are using cheese, crumble 4 oz. goat, feta, or cheddar or 1.5 oz. blue cheese and set to one side.
You may have started to notice bags of greens, including spinach, in the Farmers' Market. This is is a healthy and hearty dish to use the fresh green vegetable.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 TB grain mustard, 2 TB apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. dried thyme. When lentils are cooked, drain the lentils, place them in the mixing bowl, and toss them well with this dressing.
Heat a small frying pan over high heat with 1 1/2 TB olive oil. When the oil ripples, add the garlic slices and 1/4 tsp. crushed pepper flakes (optional). Sauté 30 seconds until garlic begins to brown. Turn off heat and drizzle over greens, tossing them to coat, wilting the greens slightly with the hot oil.
Divide greens evenly across four plates. Scoop lentils on top of greens. If using cheese, sprinkle with cheese. Accompany with bread or crackers. Enjoy!