When I first came across this recipe, I was blown away by just how many spices were said to mingle with the small but mighty lentil. For a split second I challenged, isn’t less more? But then realized, wait who am I kidding? I try to fit every vegetable known to man in my salads, will add boatloads of seeds to muffin recipes, and if I go through a coffee phase can rarely have just one cup. I continued reading to find that the original creator of this salad was so enamored by the flavor medley that she plans to serve it as a side dish at her own wedding. Okay, sold.
The recipe is packed with inflammation fighting spices like turmeric, cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon. Plus lentils are all-stars of the legume family, packing a whopping 15g of fiber and 90% of your daily value for folic acid for every 1 cup, cooked.
This salad is perfect for a relaxing lunch outside with good people and good conversation. Pair it with watermelon salad and some homemade bread.
Ingredients (adapted from My New Roots):
- 3 cups thoroughly rinsed lentils (red, green, make a mix)
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 cup dried raisins
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups cooked cous cous
- 5 cups roughly chopped spinach
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Begin by boiling the lentils until they are al-dente, about 15-18 minutes. In the meantime you can can prepare the “vinaigrette” mixing the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and spices in a large bowl that you will eventually combine the lentils and other dry ingredients. Prep the spinach and onion, and measure out the pumpkin seeds and cranberries – set aside. When the lentils are cooked, transfer to a strainer and rinse again with cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled and mostly dry, add the lentils to the bowl of oil and spices and mix to coat. Slowly integrate the spinach, onion, cranberries, and seeds to coat the entire mixture generously but the salad will not be soggy. The dish can be served immediately, or stored in the fridge for a day or two. Personally, I like the salad on the colder side so I recommend letting the mixture marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before enjoying. This is definitely a must try!