Lentil dressed salad, for lunch or tea.
This was such a delicious dinner…sweet, smoky, warming and fantastically healthy. There is no dressing – all the veges have their own unique flavour or texture, or are covered in yummy cumin-spiced lentils and caramelised onions. It’s also substitutable – you could use spinach instead of chinese radish leaves, omit the beetroot if you’re not a fan, and use any nut/seed combo you want. Vegan friendly (and thus easy to clean up after), and delicious with a slice of fresh bread to make a complete meal – veges, lentils, nuts and seeds for protein, and bread for carbs! It’s also quite oddly-pretty-looking…despite using some of the cheapest veges right now.
So pretty, in fact, that I’m going to post another photo of it…
Sweet and smoky lentil salad
serves 2-3 as dinner
If using chinese radish, slice about 1 1/2 c worth – stalk 1cm and leaves 3-4cm, soak in salted water for an hour. Or, if using spinach, pick leaves off the plant (or use baby spinach). No need to cook.
Chop 1 onion finely and throw in a medium frying pan with some oil, NO SALT. On medium low heat, stir frequently until golden. Once onions are in the pan, soak lentils (15 mins should do) While this is happening…
In a small saucepan, heat 1 1/2 c water until rapidly boiling, add 1/2 c lentils, 1 tsp salt and 1 bay leaf, reduce heat to medium, and let boil until lentils are yellow and cooked to your liking (they will not be covered in water). Do not cover.
In a medium frypan, fry 1 1/2 c cauliflower, broken into 3cm florets, in some oil with a sprinkle of salt, until browned on 3 sides. Medium high heat is good for this.
Once onion is golden, add 1 Tbs ground cumin, and stir in. Drain the lentils and add them to the pan, then turn off heat and leave in the pan for 5 mins. Meanwhile…
Grate 1 carrot, tossing into the serving bowl. Open a can of baby beetroot (or normal beetroot), and halve or quarter about 1 c worth (don’t throw in the serving bowl yet unless you want purple/pink salad!)
Cook radish leaves in some salt with 4 cloves of chopped garlic and some cooking oil, on medium heat until leaves are wilted and garlic is softened. While this is cooking, you can…
Throw the lentils in with the grated carrots (in serving bowl), and mix well. Mix in cauliflower (don’t worry if it’s cold), and radish leaves when done. Mix in beetroot (but not too well, or they’ll colour EVERYTHING), and top with sesame (black and white if available), pumpkin seed, pine nuts or whatever nuts you have (but not peanuts). If you’re having people over, it’s good to layer the rest of the salad with beetroot. Enjoy!