Lentil Salad with Local Vegetables

I love days when I work at home and can a break to fix myself a healthy lunch. I’m not a dainty eater, but I find myself gravitating toward salads – in large part because they can be so quick to fix, and lend themselves to whatever I happen to have on hand.  That said, I like to include some ingredients that I know will stick with me as I continue on my day – quinoa, wheat berries, shrimp, chicken – it doesn’t really matter as long as I include a good source of protein.

Today I decided to try my hand at a lentil salad. I was already on food blog checking out a recipe for bacon-infused bourbon (yes – that’s right – and I can’t wait to try it!), so I went ahead and checked Nick’s site for a lentil salad recipe.  He had posted a recipe for a Spicy Lentil Salad that looked terrific – what really caught my attention was his use of smoked paprika in the dressing. I had some on-hand, and that got me started.

Today is the day I pick up my CSA vegetable box, and so I wanted to use up what I had on-hand: radishes with their greens, carrots, and kohlrabi. (Kohlrabi was a new vegetable to me – I was happily surprised by how nice and crisp it is when served raw). I tend to use less oil in dressing recipes than do most other people, so I added a few extras to my dressing: lemon and lime juice, mustard, cider vinegar, and honey. The flavors came together really well, and I’m hopeful the leftovers will be just as tasty.

For the lentils combine in a medium saucepan:

  • 1 cup lentils (I used green lentils)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender but not mushy (about 35-40 minutes). Cooking time will vary depending on what type of lentils you use. When they are done cooking, drain and place in the refrigerator to cool.

While the lentils are cooking you can prepare the salad dressing and vegetables. Use whatever veggies you have on-hand. Nick’s recipe uses tomatoes and cucumbers among others.

For the dressing, combine in a small bowl:

  • Juice of 1 lemon and 2 limes (about 1/3 cup total)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. spicy course-grained mustard (I made my own – I’ll post the recipe another day)
  • 1.5 tsp. cider vinegar (preferably unfiltered)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

When the lentils are done cooking, add a few spoonfuls of this dressing. It will absorb into them nicely when they’re still warm. Once the lentils have cooled combine your ingredients.  I used:

  • cooked lentils
  • 3 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large bunch radishes, thinly sliced.
  • radish leaves, rolled and cut into thin strips
  • several small carrots

Toss the ingredients with your dressing and serve.

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