You are going to love love love this lentil and roasted carrot salad served with an oil free walnut vinaigrette. It’s earthy, tangy and sweet all at the same time.
This month’s featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Jamie Oliver, the guy who is teaching the entire Western world how to cook healthfully. I first remember watching him cook awesome food from his garden in his backyard pizza oven. Then he cooked wonderful home-style food on the most amazing wooden counter top I’d ever seen. It was an entire slab. Next he taught us to cook on a budget in a kitchen with an incredible wall of windows. (We bought an electric kettle thanks to his influence, hahaha). Most recently I’ve drooled over food he’s prepared in under 20 minutes and sprinkled with fresh herbs dropped “from a height”.
It’s rare that Jamie Oliver cooks something that I’m not interested in eating, so when I came across his lentil and parsnip salad I remembered the pack of tiny brown lentils in the cupboard. Unfortunately there was nary a parsnip to be found, but I did buy a lovely bunch of carrots and roasted them up while the lentils were cooking.
Instead of Jamie’s dressing I went with an oil free walnut vinaigrette. It’s sweetened with raisins and along with the tang from your favorite mustard, it ties the entire salad together. Chopped walnuts are used both in the vinaigrette and as a garnish for the salad along with pomegranate seeds. If those are out of season try a finely chopped apple or pear.
If you’re in a hurry, used packaged lentils and steam the carrots in the microwave while you make the salad dressing.
- 1 1/12 - 2 cups uncooked lentils (depends on the type of lentil used. You'll want at least two cups cooked lentils to make the salads)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- 1 - 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 carrots, roasted and cut into bite sized pieces
- salad greens (I used a Spring mix which included arugula)
- chopped walnuts for garnish
- pomegranate seeds
- 1⁄4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water
- 3 - 4 tablespoons vinegar (I used white balsamic)
- 1⁄2 cup water (drain the liquid from raisins and add more water to make ½ cup)
- 2 - 3 teaspoons mustard (I used plain old yellow mustard)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water (not necessary if you have a high speed blender)
- Cook the lentils in vegetable broth along with the onions, garlic and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Peel the carrots and cut into sticks about 2" long. Give them a quick rinse with water then arrange them on a baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper and herbs if you like. Roast uncovered in the hot oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
- When the raisins have softened, drain the water and reserve it. Add more water to equal ½ cup.
- Blend all the dressing ingredients together, adding more water if needed to make it pourable. Adjust the taste to suit by changing the amounts of mustard and vinegar. Set aside.
- To serve, arrange the salad greens on a plate and place a cup or so of lentils in the middle. Distribute the carrots, chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds over the top.
- Drizzle on the dressing and serve.
Be sure to visit my blogging friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs to see more Jamie Oliver food. And come back in two weeks for another Ellie Krieger recipe. “Know wha’ uh mean?”