LENTIL SALAD WITH RADICCHIO AND HONEY WALNUTS

IMG_5210I love making lentil salads for daytime parties. They are perfect at room temperature, provide protein and nutrients, and wonderfully absorb flavor. Here is a delicious and filling salad by chef Yotam Ottolenghi. He is a master of vegetarian cuisine and his cookbook, Plenty, is one of my favorites. I recently came across this recipe in a magazine and had to make it. Sweet, salty, crunchy, and much more, this salad hits all the right spots.

IMG_5201LENTIL SALAD WITH RADICCHIO AND HONEY WALNUTS

Serves 4

1 1/4 cups green lentils
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup honey (I used a local raw honey from the Atwater Farmers Market. The original recipe calls for manuka honey)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup walnuts
1/2 medium radicchio
2/3 cup basil, roughly chopped
2/3 cup dill, roughly chopped
2/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 oz. pecorino sardo or goat cheese, optional (I didn’t use cheese this time but I am sure it would be a delicious addition to the recipe)
sea salt
cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
IMG_5203In a bowl combine, 1/4 cup honey, red pepper flakes, turmeric, a large pinch of salt, and 1 tsp water to create a thick paste. Add walnuts to the honey paste and stir to coat. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes until nuts are crunchy and toasted. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

After you put the walnuts in the oven, place the lentils and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, remaining honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Whisk until honey is incorporated. Drain cooked lentils and stir them into the mixture while they are still hot, let cool slightly.
IMG_5204Pour the remaining oil in a small frying pan and place on high heat. Core the radicchio and cut the half into 8 small wedges (they will fall apart, don’t worry about it). Place in the hot oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add lentils, walnuts, herbs and cheese, if using. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
IMG_5211
Original recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi.

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