Black Lentil Salad with Asparagus and Egg

black lentils bowl tastefood

Asparagus and egg pair well together – especially in the spring. In this hearty salad, they team up with black lentils. These shiny pellets are nicknamed Beluga lentils because of their resemblance to caviar. Black lentils remain firm when cooked, which makes them a great addition to salads, and their inky dark color provides vivid contrast to bright vegetables. Like brown or green lentils, black lentils are a superb source of iron, fiber, protein, folate and magnesium. Plus, they are easy on the wallet. Not bad for a little legume.

black lentils salad tastefood

Black Lentil Salad with Asparagus and Egg

1 cup black lentils
6 to 8 thin asparagus
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
2 cups coarsely chopped greens, such as spinach or arugula
2 spring onions, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
1 small red jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 hard boiled egg yolks, crumbled

1. Rinse and sift through the lentils for any small stones. Put the lentils in a large saucepan and cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pan and simmer until the lentils are tender but firm, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and rinse under cold water to cool. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. While the lentils are cooking, bring a wide pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the asparagus and blanch until they are bright green and crisp-tender, no more than 1 minute. Drain and rinse the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut off and reserve the tips and cut the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.

3. Whisk the garlic, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the lentils and stir to coat. Add the asparagus tips and stalks, the greens, spring onions, jalapeño, parsley, and mint. Gently stir to combine and taste for seasoning – you might need more salt. If the salad is too dry at this point, drizzle with a little extra oil or a squeeze of lemon.

4. Transfer the salad to a platter or divide among serving plates. Alternatively, arrange over a pile of greens. Garnish with the crumbled egg yolks and black pepper and serve.

Indian Spiced Lentils

Lentils

It’s the time of year when I like to take a culinary holiday in my kitchen. October is behind us, finished in a flourish of pumpkins and candy. Thanksgiving is looming, and thoughts are rife with turkey, stuffings, and pies. Before we know it we’ll be sipping gløgg and baking Christmas cookies, poring over recipes for roasts and trifles. At this time in early November there is a brief lull, lending a moment of quiet respite. During this time I crave recipes that are sturdy and exotic, influenced by traditions that are not associated with Hallmark greeting cards. It’s a window of reflection, healthy eating and escape. It’s also an opportunity to earn extra points in the diet category, so that we are fit and robust, ready to hit the ground running when the holidays are upon us.


Indian Spiced Lentils

Influenced by the spices of India and the Middle East, this salad is economical in ingredients and rich in flavor and nutrients. Makes 6 servings.

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 cup green lentils
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water for vegetarian option)

4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
1 green jalapeno pepper, minced
1 red serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and spices and sauté 1 minute. Add lentils and stir to coat. Add stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the lentils are soft but chewy, about 40 minutes. Transfer lentils to a large bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add white part of scallions and peppers. Sauté briefly until peppers brighten in color, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to lentils. Stir in pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Taste to adjust seasoning. Add green scallions, cilantro and parsley and gently toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.