The Dish — Curried Lentil Salad

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This curried lentil salad will make a great summer lunch.

So much good food, so little time to cook it! That pretty much sums up my summer.

Almost all locals feel the heat (literally and figuratively) of the busy summer months.  If we are not working, we are entertaining out of town guests. And on the off chance that we do get a night free of work and/or visitors then we are usually too exhausted to cook.

Not to mention the BBQs we are invited to (or host). There you might bring a dish or dessert but since the grill does most the work, you aren’t responsible for making some amazing meal.

While not cooking a lot might sound like a reprieve to some, I miss cooking big dinners almost every night!  I am still trying to get in one or two good cooking sessions a week though. I try to make a meal at least once a week and if all else fails, then I have the salad I have committed to making every Monday to have on-hand for lunches all week.

I have been branching out of my norm for these salads. Trying recipes that I’ve never had before and incorporating new grains, new ingredients and new combinations each time.

The most recent salad I made called for lentils. I had a beautiful bag of colorful (yellow and orange) lentils that I bought on a whim one day. I was anxious to try them and excited for how beautiful they would look.

I started researching and found a recipe on a blog I like called “the best lentil salad ever.” Strong statement so I read some more. It sounded like a good starting place.  So my cohort in this “salad a week” mission Jamie and I decided on some changes and forged ahead with the project.

The first (and only) disappointment was the lentils. When we cooked them they lost their color and looked like standard brown lentils. Oh well, they still tasted good.

The rest of the salad was pretty straight-forward. If you think the combination of currants and capers is a little strange, don’t be alarmed. It is surprisingly good.

We doubled the recipe and only added the toppings when we serve the meal. It is really good and has an interesting and unique flavor that you will hopefully enjoy!

The Dish — Curried Lentil Salad

Ingredients

  • Curried Lentil Salad
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 ¼ cups lentils (Du Puy) if possible
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 3 cups of roughly torn kale
  • 1 cup of grated carrots
  • 1 finely diced red pepper
  • 1 finely diced yellow pepper
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Toppings:
  • arugula
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Goat cheese
  • Sprouts

Instructions

  • 1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
  • 2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  • 3. Finely dice red onion and peppers- the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces.
  • 4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine. Save the toppings for when you are ready to serve.
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Writer. Cook. Hockey player. Skier. Snowboarder. Mountain biker. Mother of two great danes. Wife. Marketing expert. And, most fulfilling, Co-editor of Dishing!

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