Make This Lovely Black Lentil Salad for Lunch
Chef Nino Mancari of Good Earth Market shares a delicious vegetarian dish.
October is National Vegetarian Awareness Month, so over the next few weeks we're sharing some meat-free recipes we think you'll enjoy. An extra dose of veggies always does a body good!
Black Lentil Salad
Ingredients for salad:
- 2 cups black lentils
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups squash (halved or quartered—use as many varieties as you can find)
- 4 cups heirloom tomatoes, cut into different sizes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced
- A pinch of red pepper
- A pinch of coarse salt
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Your favorite cheese
To prepare salad:
Simmer lentils in a heavy-bottomed pot until they are just tender. Drain well and let cool, then season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add olive oil and squash in small batches to a large sauté pan over high heat. Allow squash to brown, just barely, in certain spots. Cool on trays, then season well with salt and pepper.
Combine tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, shallots, red pepper and salt in a bowl. (Add salt in last so the vegetables keep their crunch). Combine tomatoes, squash and lentils.
Ingredients for green sauce:
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup scallion greens, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic, hand-minced
- Pinch of salt
- Lemon zest of 2 lemons (juice can be saved to drizzle onto final plate)
- 1/2–3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
To prepare green sauce:
Mix all ingredients, excluding the oil, together in a bowl. Then mix in only enough oil to barely bind ingredients together.
To pull everything together:
Drizzle the green sauce over the tomato-squash-lentil mixture. Top with your favorite cheese (Mancari suggests feta, burrata or ricotta), and enjoy.
Makes 4 servings for an entrée, 6 servings for a light lunch.
(Tip: This dish is meant to be altered according to the current season. Serve hot or cold, or switch out the veggies for whatever is fresh at your local grocery store or farmers' market. In the spring, for example, asparagus would be a good addition.)