Monday, April 29, 2013

Cooking: Meatless Monday, Lentil Salad

Trying hard to work in a "meatless Monday" every week.  It's cheaper, healthier, and reduces my neurotic worry over our cholesterol levels.  It's also higher in fiber when you include legumes, like this lentil salad.

I heavily modified a version I found in the "Forks Over Knives" cookbook.  While their version uses a lot of cilantro and mint, I wanted to create something a little more like a cross between three-bean salad and hummus.  Sort of.

My Roja garlic hadn't performed up to my expectations.  Only half of them came up, and I wanted the garden bed space for lettuces, so I picked most of them early.  I replaced the green onion and garlic cloves in the original recipe with two too-young garlic shoots.  I added a bit of cilantro, but omitted
the mint and added two tablespoons of sunflower oil to the dressing to make it more like a vinaigrette.  I also didn't see the point of zesting one lemon, but then squeezing two (and I was a bit low on lemons) so I measured the juice of one lemon, and added an equal part of apple cider vinegar.  It turned out delicious when still slightly warm.  I was not as pleased with it cold, but it was still tasty.  I also skipped putting it on a bed of greens, as I did not have any growing that were large enough, and I was out.  Here is my modified recipe.

Lentil Salad with Lemon and Herbs


1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed
3 cups water or vegetable stock
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. sunflower or other light oil
2 green garlic shoots, bulbs and tops, chopped
1 tsp. dried cilantro, or 1/4 C fresh, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups arugula or other salad greens

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan with the water or stock and bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain the lentils and place them in a large salad bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, oil, garlic shoots, cilantro, and salt and pepper and mix well. To serve, divide the arugula between four individual plates. Spoon the lentil salad on top of the greens and garnish with additional garlic shoots.

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