It's a bold statement to claim that something is the best EVER. But we discovered this amazing salad from Vancouver based, vegan restauranteur, Erin Ireland's Instagram. And she found the recipe from Torontonian and holistic nutritionalist, Sarah Britton's Blog, mynewroots.org. So, you can be sure that this little recipe is delicious because it comes from two ladies who know their way around tasty plant based diets!
You can find the original recipe here. As you can see in Erin's version, you can successfully substitute and/or add ingredients to your own taste and pantry. Sarah recommends using Du Puy lentils because of their ability to keep their shape and bite after cooking, but you can use what you have available - just be sure not to overcook the lentils or the salad is ruined. The salad is so versatile that adding your favourite ingredients can only enhance the end result. For example, Erin added feta cheese, fresh herbs, and nuts. However, don't skip out on the added sweetness if you can help it! Also, although adding nuts is optional, I think that including them for the extra texture.
The recipe's 10 spice vinaigrette is what brings everything together. It sounds like a lot of different components but each common spice adds a subtle but important hint to the eventual explosion of flavour. What I love about this recipe is that it tastes even better the day after! It makes for a great make-ahead meal or as left overs because it will keep its freshness in the fridge for 2-3 days. It's also a great summer salad because it transports well and is perfect for picnics.
The Best Lentil Salad, Ever
From Erin Ireland & Sarah Britton
- 2 1/4 cups (1 lb.) Du Puy Lentils
- 1/2 medium pickled red onion
- 1 cup raisins (you could also use dried currents or other dried fruit)
- 1/3 cup capers
- violet feta
- green onions
- chopped mint
- chopped basil
- chopped parsley
- pine nuts
- chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1tbsp. strong mustard
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. tumeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Goat cheese
- Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley (cilantro or basil)
- Roasted seasonal veggies
- Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth - al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
- While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine
- Finely slide red onion - pickle with 3 parts white vinegar, 1 part water.
- The salad is best if all ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.
- When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple of days.
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. And if you decide to give it a try let us know what you think on the La-Z-Boy of Vancouver Facebook Page!