Here’s another – “I can’t believe my three-year-old will eat that, I have to have the recipe” – posts. This time a deliciously simple Lentil Salad with Spiced Vinaigrette. I seriously can’t believe he’ll eat it, but he does!
The key to the salad is a wonderful vinaigrette which is based on this recipe from My New Roots. As usual, I simplified. This time I reduced the number of ingredients by cutting out a) flavours which aren’t loved around here and b) what I don’t keep on hand in my spice drawer. I think I managed to keep the integrity of the flavour – a nice balance of spice with a hint of sweet and sour – a wonderful complement to the earthy lentils.
Of course, as with any lentil dish, you really need to keep an eye on them while they cook. Otherwise they’ll be mushy, split and unappealing. So make sure to stay by the stove for the second half of your cooking time, taste the lentils regularly then remove from the heat as soon as they hit al dente.
I have used feta, celery (for crunch) and red pepper (for colour). But this was really just based on what I had in the fridge. Anything that can be cut to a small dice would work. Mix and match to your heart’s content!
2 CUPS LENTILS
4 CUPS WATER
1/2 CUP FETA – crumbled
2 CELERY STALKS – cut to a small dice
1/2 RED PEPPER – cut to a small dice
For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL
1/4 CUP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1 TBSP MAPLE SYRUP
1 TBSP DIJON
2 TSP SALT – I thought that sounded like a lot, but the lentils can take it
1 TSP GROUND CUMIN – yes, it really should be freshly toasted (and by fresh, I mean done by you sometime, even if it;s been a jar a while)
1/2 TSP TURMERIC
1/2 TSP GROUND CORIANDER
1/4 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
1/4 TSP CAYENNE
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER – a good amount, to taste
Add lentils and water to a small sauce pan and cook on high until just beginning to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until lentils are cooked (approx 20 min).
While the lentils are cooking, cut add-ins to a small dice and add to a large mixing bowl.
The, add all the vinaigrette ingredients to a bowl and whisk until emulsified.
Once cooked, drain and rinse lentils under cold water.
Add to bowl, add vinaigrette and combine well.
Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min