Lentils tend to be a very under-appreciated legume, not being much used as a basic components in meals to change from starch or any more common grains as quinoa. This recipe is a very easy one, perfect for late spring season when warm dishes are still much appreciated. Trust me, it’s such a nice combination of natural, earthy and tangy flavours. It’s about the most perfect healthy, high-protein vegan lunch !
Lentil is a very energetic food filled with many nutrients your body needs, even a real superfood I’d say! It can easily be incorporated regularly in a diet thanks to their versatility and amazing health benefits. Mostly, this ingredient helps you burn fat and overall improves your metabolism. Lentils also are particularly suitable to diets presenting a lower protein intake as flexitarianism as they are packed with it.
The most important when cooking lentils is to give the dish a lot of flavour. Lentils are requiring seasoning and tend to need a lot of salt. To reduce the amount of salt, I have used vegetable broth in reasonable quantity and used the roasting method for both the vegetables and nuts which concentrates the tastes and reveals the whole ingredient’s nature. Also, herbs are a great addition in these meals. To make this lentil salad fresher, I have used scallions, parsley and sorrel which is incredible as it brings a lot of tanginess together with the tahini dressing.
You could have this salad either hot, warm or cold. Make sure you’re using black or green lentils as the red (pink) ones aren’t holding their shape when cooking and are much more adapted to making stews, dal or soup.
RECIPE serves 1
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 35 mins Chill time: 15 mins (opt.)
You will need:
- 60g to 70g green lentils
- 4 small carrots
- 1 turnip
- 5g solid vegetable stock
- A handfull silvered almonds
- 10 pistachios (unshelled)
- 1 scallion
- Sorrel leaf
- Olive oil
- A pinch of za’atar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 20g tahini
- 1/3 of a lemon juice
- Dash of maple sirup
- Few drops of water
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Heat up the oven to 210°C.
Rinse the lentils. Heat up a pot with water, add the vegetable stock and the lentils. Bring to a simmer and let cook for around 30 minutes.
Cut the carrots in halves in the length (in 4th if larger ones) and the turnip in 8 pieces. Put them in a plate, add 1/2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat the vegetables and place them on a baking sheet making sure they don’t stick to one another. Roast in the oven for around 25 minutes tossing the veggies halfway through cooking.
In a small pan, roast the silvered almonds and pistachios for 5 to 10 minutes over a medium heat until golden.
While the preparations are cooking, prepare the tahini dressing mixing up the tahini, lemon juice, maple sirup (to slightly counterbalance the bitterness), salt and pepper. If the dressing is a little too thick, add a few drops of water to dilute it slightly more.
When the vegetables are ready, sprinkle some za’atar over them.
Drain the lentils when cooked (should be tender but holding their shape) and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a bowl. Add a dash of olive oil, some chopped scallions, sorrel, parsley, roasted silvered almonds and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Nicely set up your plate with the lentils, roasted carrots and turnips, more herbs, nuts and the tahini dressing.
Enjoy hot, warm or cold; although my preference goes towards warm 🙂