Crunchy Black Lentil Salad

Crunchy Black Lentil Salad

My new favorite lentil dish!  It’s delicious, easy, and healthy. Versatile, too — serve it as a side or as a vegetarian main dish. You can even make it vegan by just eliminating the cheese. 

It’s been a few years since I started observing Meatless Monday. Back in the day, we used to eat beef and lamb several days a week. There’s a good reason for that — we love it. But there are plenty of reasons not to, or at least not so often. For our personal health, there’s the issue of saturated fat and cholesterol. For the health of the planet, there’s the fact that cows are the least efficient source of human nutrition. Cattle farming uses a tremendous amount of energy and growing feed occupies a huge amount of land that could be producing crops for people to eat. Also, cattle emit methane, which contributes to climate change. Yes, I “believe in” climate change. I say that in quotes because it’s a phrase usually used for things people believe with no hard evidence: ghosts, luck, that sort of thing. But climate change is scientifically proven, which to my mind leaves no room for not believing. But I digress. 

I have to admit, I’ve been a bit lackadaisical about Meatless Monday lately. I have a handful of dishes that I kept in rotation but hadn’t gone looking for new ones in a while. Then my daughter became a vegetarian, so I needed to step up my game. I found this recipe on the Nutrition Action website. With perfect timing, Ranch Gordo started carrying black lentils, a.k.a. Beluga or caviar lentils. Wait, did you think a lentil is a lentil is a lentil? Nutritionally, sure, they’re pretty similar. But the size, texture, and flavor of black lentils is quite different from their red, yellow, and brown cousins. They don’t fall apart as easily as other varieties. Falling apart is great if you’re looking for soup or stew. These babies don’t fall apart, though, making them perfect for salads. Why are they called Beluga or caviar lentils? Because look at them in the ingredient photo below, then look at a photo of actual Beluga caviar:

Caviar canstockphoto34516097

So go order some from Rancho Gordo. You know you need to get some of their beans anyway, right? Best beans anywhere other than a farmers’ market. What are you waiting for? Crunchy Black Lentil Salad is waiting for you!

Ingredients:

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1 cup (280 g) dried black lentils

4 oz (100 g) celery, about 2 to 4 stalks

1 large shallot

¼ cup (about 4 oz./125 g) chopped walnuts

1 lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 oz. (55 g) Manchego or Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

1.) Pick over the lentils, removing any pebbles or other debris; rinse. Place in a medium saucepan with 3 cups (710 ml) of water and the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly for 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more water as needed. Don’t be tempted to try to speed this up. A gentle simmer helps the lentils keep their shape, and gives you time to notice they’re done before they get soft and mushy. Drain, remove the bay and garlic, and transfer to a large bowl.

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2.) While the lentils cook, slice the celery about ¼” (0.5 to 0.75 cm). You’ll get about 1 cup. Finely chop the shallot for 2 tablespoons. Set aside. Finely grate a teaspoon (or more, if you like) of zest from the lemon, and juice it for 2 tablespoons. In a medium bowl, whisk the juice and zest together with the mustard, salt, and pepper.

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3.) Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

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4.) Stir in the shallots,

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then pour the mixture into the drained lentils and stir to coat.

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5.) Stir in the celery and walnuts.

6.) Use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese. It will be about ¼ cup. Gently stir into the lentil mixture.

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cbls NutritionLabel

Crunchy Black Lentil Salad

Ingredients

1 cup (280 g) dried black lentils

4 oz (100 g) celery, about 2 to 4 stalks

1 large shallot

¼ cup (about 4 oz./125 g) chopped walnuts

1 lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon Penzeys or Diamond Crystal kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 oz. (55 g) Manchego or Parmesan cheese

Directions

1.) Pick over the lentils, removing any pebbles or other debris; rinse. Place in a medium saucepan with 3 cups (710 ml) of water and the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly for 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more water as needed. Don’t be tempted to try to speed this up. A gentle simmer helps the lentils keep their shape, and gives you time to notice they’re done before they get soft and mushy. Drain, remove the bay and garlic, and transfer to a large bowl.

2.) While the lentils cook, slice the celery about ¼” (0.5 to 0.75 cm). You’ll get about 1 cup. Finely chop the shallot for 2 tablespoons. Set aside. Finely grate a teaspoon (or more, if you like) of zest from the lemon, and juice it for 2 tablespoons. In a medium bowl, whisk the juice and zest together with the mustard, salt, and pepper.

3.) Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

4.) Stir in the shallots,

then pour the mixture into the drained lentils and stir to coat.

5.) Stir in the celery and walnuts.

6.) Use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese. It will be about ¼ cup. Gently stir into the lentil mixture.

 

 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Leif Price says:

    This recipe got me wandering to the kitchen to check if I could make it. Well, seems like we don’t, so will try to make it the next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      I hope you do! Stop back and let me know how you like it. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  2. Joseph Tardi says:

    Trip told me that the Blueberry pie was a killer.

    It finally did go to your son-in-law.

    Always enjoy your posts.

    Hope you are well.

    Regards, Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thanks, Joe! Yup, my s-i-l chose birthday pie instead of cake. It was good. Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

      Like

  3. Sheree says:

    I love lentil salads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      This is the first one I’ve made — I love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. wooddogs3 says:

    This looks delicious. I love black lentils for their appearance and texture, but for some reason have not yet made a salad from them. So now this will happen.
    Glad to see you mentioning Rancho Gordo. They are a wonderful source of interesting leguminous things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      I hope you love it as much as I do! Thanks for stopping by & commenting.

      Like

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