Lentils and vegetables salad
Lentils are versatile and I use them all year, for soups and stews in the winter and salads in the summer. I often have cooked lentils in the fridge to pull out on the spur of the moment to make a lunch or dinner salad.
In this salad I used leftover beets and carrots from my new sous vide experiment, more on that later, but you can make this without a sous vide by boiling or roasting the vegetables which will be just fine.
I used the lentils as the base and layered the vegetables and salad leaves on top. Freshness from the herbs and salad, fruitiness and pungency from a good olive oil, a little crunch from the walnuts, sweetness from balsamic crema and acidity from a squirt of lemon made this dish quite flavourful, hitting all the flavour notes on your palate.
In keeping with our Okanagan summer rituals, we enjoyed it at the table on our leafy and floral “Italian garden” side of our rooftop patio with Ottmar Liebert guitar music in the background and a small glass of good wine. No complains from anyone here.
I am happy to share. Enjoy.
1 cup French lentils, rinsed and sorted if needed
A couple of sprigs of herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano
1 shallot, finely chopped
Juice from half a lemon
Zest from half a lemon
Salt and pepper
A handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons walnut oil
4 garden carrots, peeled and steamed or roasted
1 beet, cooked, peeled and quartered (boil or roast)
Arugula and baby greens as available
Salt and pepper
Garnishes: edible flowers or herb flowers
Place lentils in a pot, cover with cold water by about an inch, add the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, partially covered, until lentils are done. If necessary, add water to make sure the lentils do not dry up. When ready drain in a colander, remove herb springs, then place in a glass bowl and set aside.
Carrots and beets:
Cook the carrots and beets separately, either in boiling water or roast them in the oven until just done. Remove and let cool in separate bowls. Peel the beets and cut into 4 or 6 wedges. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper over both vegetables and drizzle a little balsamic crema over the beets only. Set aside.
Add the shallot, olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper, cilantro and walnuts and walnut oil to the lentils and mix gently to combine.
Pile the lentils into the serving dishes.
Arrange the carrots and beets over the lentils.
Place arugula and other greens in a bowl, f=drizzle with olive oil and a little balsamic crema, salt and pepper and toss gently. Pile the greens over the lentils and vegetable in a way that gives the dish height.
Garnish with edible flowers.
Serve with additional balsamic on the side.