Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunch: Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Scallions

from The New Best Recipe cookbook

Serves 4

1 cup Lentils du Puy (green lentils), rinsed and picked over
1/2 medium onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 large-sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes, then cooled
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
1/2 cup drained jarred roasted red peppers, diced

1. Bring the lentils, onion, bay leaves, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper and oil together in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Drain the lentils through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the onion, bay leaves, an d thyme. Transfer the lentils to a medium bowl. Toss the warm lentils with the vinaigrette and cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, scallions and roasted red peppers and serve immediately.

This is Bret and my favorite salad and we have it at least once per week for lunch. I've been taking it to potlucks and having it at parties as it's a nice, filling, non-dairy, vegetarian dish that suits multiple diets. We usually make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for the weekend. My kids don't eat it as it doesn't LOOK nearly as good as it tastes and they aren't convinced lentils are delicious. I'm confident they will come around someday... :)

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