November 13, 2011

Spring lentil salad


I am beyond excited about our upcoming move, and have probably bored most of my poor Twitter followers with a weekly countdown ever since we signed the contract (9 weeks ago!). We have three more weeks to go now, if all goes to plan, before we finally get the keys into our new home. As eager as I am to pack up our current home of 5 years, I am a little bit concerned about my little kitchen garden and how all the growing produce will like the move. Especially the tomato plant has really come to life in recent weeks and I will have to be extra careful transporting the plant into our new home. Once there, they should have no reason to worry, however, as our large north-facing balcony should provide much sunlight throughout the year. I am planning to start growing more veggies, herbs and a citrus tree or two once we've settled in. 

 

But for now, I am using up as much as fresh herbs from our balcony garden as I possibly can and this fresh spring lentil salad is a wonderful way to use up the most prosperous two - mint and parsley. I've cooked the vegetables ever so lightly in some coconut oil, just to get the edge off, but to keep them crunchy. You want this to be fresh and fragrant, not sad and mushy. Beluga lentils are a wonderful companion, but you could certainly use green/brown lentils as well. This is delicious on its own, but you could toast some spiced sunflower seeds as an additional crunch, if you wish.

Spring lentil salad
(serves 2-4)

200g Beluga lentils
2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
2 bunches asparagus
2 zucchinis
4 shallot greens
fresh mint
fresh parsley
1/2 avocado
1/2 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
flaxseed oil, to serve

1. Cook the lentils in plenty of boiling water until just tender (20 minutes). Drain and set aside.

2. In the mean while, prepare the vegetables. Chop the asparagus in 2cm pieces (discard the woody ends), chop the zucchini into similar size pieces and cut the shallots finely. 

3. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet and add the asparagus, zucchini and shallots. Season the vegetables with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook only for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Toss the lentils and the vegetables, drizzle in the lemon juice and add chopped avocado and finely chopped fresh herbs. Drizzle with some flaxseed oil, if desired. Ideally you should let the flavours develop in the fridge for at least half an hour before serving, but this is tasty as it is, served in room temperature.

27 comments:

  1. Oh, this is just lovely. Thank you for sharing! Love your blog! Will add you to my links!

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  2. So green, fresh and healthy! Have a great sunday!

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  3. What a splendid salad! Absolutely gorgeous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Don't you just love this time of the year? So many delightfully fresh options for salads - and this one is seriously gorgeous, thanks.

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  5. It's such a gorgeous time of year to use fresh herbs and the more I read your posts and look at your pretty dishes I realise that I really need to dig up the front area of our units to plant some herbs! I'm sure your little tomato plant with move fine, we had one in Perth that transported fine (as we moved it, not the movers!)

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  6. so delicious...lentils i love! V exciting for you to hear of your upcoming move...your plants will relocate with you and if anything flourish all the more i am sure! dayle

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  7. good luck with the move, and this salad looks gorgeous. might try it out when I have my veggie friend over, thank you.

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  8. What a great recipe - makes me wis it were spring already... I love asparagus!!!

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  9. Moving is so exciting but yes those plants need good taking care of. They will definitely survive the move though.
    I love lentils, my favorite legume, and this salad looks wonderful!

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  10. Mmm, looks so good! I really need to eat lentils more often!

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  11. yum! anything with veggies and lentils has my heart. We eat a version similar at our house regularly :)

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  12. The salad looks so fresh and healthy- a real energy booster! I like reading about your moving plans and can't wait to see pics of your plants happy in their new home.

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  13. Super Salad! And again great Pictures.
    Goodluck moving, I hope you will feel at home and settle quickly, (your plants as well!)

    Mandi

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  14. this is the kind of salad i can eat by the bowl full. I am so impressed by your sugar-free-ness! I would be an absolute failure, so sad :/ Way to go!

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  15. I absolutely adore this kind of salad and often make something very similar to take in for my lunch at work. This kind of sugar free I can absolutely do...however I'd probably follow it up with a nice brownie or ice cream, which is where my downfall would lie :-)

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  16. This salad is wonderful; I make all kinds of stuff with lentils but never thought of pairing lentils and asparagus. Good thinking!

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  17. Oh what a perfect spring dish! Great weather for a nice salad too :) love it!

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  18. Wonderful, healthy, appetizing mix! Thanks for the combo!!

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  19. Yay, not long til your big move! So excited for you :) This salad looks great, I've done something similar before with zuczhini and asparagus but with quinoa which is also an excellent base!

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  20. beautiful and fresh, I am so impressed you grow so much from a balcony, it inspires me to put more in my garden.

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  21. Oh yum, this looks delicious! I wish I had a balcony. I think I am going to make use of the gardens behind our block to start growing some herbs and tomatoes.

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  22. Beautiful spring salad! I think majority of food blog posts I read have food with so much flavor, and when I come to your site, I feel like I'm very cleansed by your healthy dishes. In Japan it's so important to have the good quality ingredient and enjoy the natural flavor of the ingredient(there are some exceptions). Your posts always remind me to go back to basic!

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  23. Yum, this looks so Spring/ Summer and I wish I had it to pack into my lunch box today

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  24. Made this tonight for dinner. Delicious, thank you.

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