I am always on the lookout for delicious salads. Lettuce salads are great and all, but sometimes I like a little something different. I came across this delicious lentil salad on Pinterest and was a bit leery because of all the different spices, but thought I’d give it a try. Man, am I glad that I did. I couldn’t stop eating it. I went back for thirds and only stopped because I wanted to save some for the next day! -My adventurous-eating daughter even had seconds.
Lentils are one of the yummiest sources of folate (also know as folic acid) – just one cup of cooked lentils provides you with almost 90% of your daily recommended intake! Folate is critical in the prevention of birth defects during pregnancy, but also functions to support red blood cell production and help prevent anemia, allows nerves to function properly, helps prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures, and may help prevent dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. Phew! All fantastic reasons to dish up!
This salad is easy to throw together and I like it best served cold. It has so many different flavors going on. It is sweet, salty, spicy and savory. As my meat-loving husband put it, “I could give up meat if all our meals tasted this good!”
We served this with chicken and kale salad the first night and for leftovers the next day we mixed it all together (lentils, kale, and diced chicken). Heaven!
Spiced Lentil Salad
1 lb. dried lentils lentils
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
1/3 cup capers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Crispy seasonal veggies
1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
3. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add onion, capers, and raisins. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.
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That looks amazing! I love lentil salads.