Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

My cooking has taken a turn towards the vegetarian with the boy already out in San Francisco. For some reason, meatless dishes just seem so much more summery and simple to me. As a warning, this dish is slightly sweet thanks to the maple, raisins, and carrots. If that's not your thing, don't say I didn't warn you!

The original recipe (below) serves 6 - 8. That's a bit much for me when I'm on my own. When I made the recipe, I scaled the amount of lentils in half, but kept the vegetable level the same because who wants to deal with a leftover 1/2 carrot or bell pepper. I liked the ratio of vegetables to lentils that I ended up with, but you're of course free to follow your own preferences.

One year ago: Pesto and Prosciutto Stromboli
Two years ago: Pad See Ew

Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette (from Raising the Salad Bar)

1 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely diced
1/4 cup chopped scallion greens
1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I used pecans)
Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Fill a small saucepan with water, add lentils and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until cooked, 18 - 20 minutes.
2. Drain, lentils, add a few pinches of salt, and let cool.
3. When cool, combine lentils, carrot, bell pepper, scallions, and raisins in a serving bowl.
4. To make dressing, whisk together ingredients.
5. Mix dressing into salad and garnish with chopped nuts.

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