There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below.
Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.
This week, looking for a couple of vegetarian meals (money, health, time), I literally threw together a curried lentil salad while my friend Mary Pat sat at the counter. She kept saying, “Tell me to go home if I’m in the way.”
No chance; lentils are infinitely patient and versatile. (Unlike the big buck –below–who often visits my back yard.) I do like to dress them with oil, salt and pepper, at least, while they’re warm or they dry out at altitude.. Other than that, they can wait while you chop an acre of vegetables or grill a chop.
Thinking ahead to a Friday in Lent? A lentil salad would be just right. #FishFridays can be just vegetables, too. If that makes any sense.
If the weather’s appealing, take your salad outdoors and show it off. P.S. I did not change the color of kale!
CURRIED PUY (Green) LENTIL SALAD WITH SWEET POTATOES, BROCCOLI, AND KALE
Do read through before making; this salad requires the cooking of a sweet potato, broccoli, and mushrooms before stirring together. (I microwaved the potato and broccoli, and had sautéed a big container mushrooms that morning for my eggs.)
While this heart-warming meal is decidedly and unapologetically vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, it’s also inordinately luscious and quite filling. Curried lentils are sexy to the bones as is, but if you want, can also be the basis for a thrilled steak, chicken, salmon, or shrimp salad. Just grill the desired carnivore ingredient ahead, slice, set aside, and add around the edges at the very end as a garnish.
- 2 cups dry green (Puy) lentils, rinsed very well
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- crushed red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
- 1/2 cup carrot, small dice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, cooked, peeled, and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets, cooked and chopped finely
- 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, sautéed and quartered
- 4 scallions ( use green and white parts), trimmed and minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (I like Penzey’s “Sweet” variety.)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups shredded kale, garnish
- 1 cup cucumber, small dice, garnish
- 2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint, optional garnish
1. Bring 3 quarts of well-salted and peppered water to boil in a 4 or 6-quart pot. Add lentils and cook until tender — about 20 minutes. Drain well and pour into a large mixing bowl while warm.
2. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, including crushed vinegar, red pepper, ginger, and curry powder.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients garlic – cumin. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide between plates and garnish with kale around the salad. Top with cucumber and shredded fresh mint, if using. Grind a little fresh ground pepper and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the salad making sure to include the kale.
OTHER OPTIONS: Stir in another cooked or fresh vegetable or two. Have leftover sautéed eggplant or sweet peppers? A cup full of steamed green beans? A tablespoon or two of chopped fresh fennel? Make this meal yours.
If you like this, you may like
Printable recipe here.-Salad-Lentil-CURRIED PUY
Sing a new song,
Lentils belong to the same family as beans — the legume family — which means they share the same benefits: They’re a rich source of fiber and lean protein. After meat, poultry, fish and soybeans, lentils are the next highest source of protein. Lentils have an advantage when it comes to preparation time. You don’t have to spend time soaking them because they’re smaller and flatter than other types of dried legumes.
Protein Plus Lysine for Vegetarians
One cup of cooked lentils has 230 calories, barely a trace of fat and 40 grams of total carbohydrates. The same serving size supplies 16 percent to 18 percent of your daily value of potassium, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6. You’ll get 18 grams of protein, which is 36 percent of the daily value, according to NutritionValue.org. Lentils do not provide complete protein because they lack a sufficient amount of two amino acids: methionine and cysteine. But they’re a good source of lysine, which is the most important amino acid to include in vegan and vegetarian diets, notes VeganHealth.org.