|Green lentils salad|
You may remember my last battle with lentils, and having to hide them in MRN's lunches to try to get rid of all the left-overs. This time I cut down the serving size and changed up the recipe (basically-- guessed on amount and made something up). It ended up being a much bigger hit (though, considering it wasn't a hit at all the first time, the only way for it to go was up. But I'm nothing if not persistent. It may be because I added bacon... but hey-ho; anything to get some veggies on the plate).
Alas, even with the doctoring, we still had left-overs (that I knew I would have to eat; because while I won a battle with the beans, I knew not to push my luck by hiding it in MRN's food). So I decided to add cold lentils to a salad. I'm a big lunch-time salad fan. But I don't love making them at home. It's one of the (many) things I miss from the US-- all those lovely entree-sized salads. YUM. I have to admit, though-- this home salad was pretty good and hearty. I mean, it's not a Cheesecake Factory chopped salad (I love me a chopped salad), but it was a fair substitute. What I've found with home salads is it's all about the dressing-- and I'm not talking from the bottle; I'm talking the easiest home-made salad dressing in the world, adapted from my grandmother's soy-vinaigrette concoction that she's been making since I can remember. There's many varieties of this recipe (you can make it thicker and creamier by increasing the lemon to olive oil ratio to mustard; or add some minced garlic for a extra kick), but the real benefit is that you simply can't mess it up. It's a real, grab what you have in the fridge, whisk it up and voila yummy dressing.
For the lentils:
- 1/2-c Green puy lentils
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 3/4-c Chicken broth
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Diced, crispy bacon (optional)
While lentils are soaking, heat olive oil in pan on medium-high, add onions and cook 5-7 minutes until start to get translucent. Add carrots, spices and cook about 10-minutes, until carrots are soft. Toss in garlic and cook for 2 minutes (until fragrant). Stir in lentils and chicken broth and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If you're using bacon, dice and fry, stir into finished lentils. Great with pork or salmon, or (as I've used it), on salads!
Easy homemade salad dressing:
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (or water if you don't have lemon)
- Whisk together and toss with salad
If you want to get fancy:
Add a heaping teaspoon of dijon mustard (regular or whole-grain; whatever floats your boat), 1 clove garlic, minced, and some fresh ground pepper to the dressing. The mustard will make the dressing thicker, and oh so yummy.