Monday, June 28, 2010

Meatless Mondays: Asparagus Salad w/ Beluga Lentils

lentil asparagus4

I know you must be tired of the "Meatless Mondays" theme, but I kind of like it.
It reminds me that I am going to eat a vegetarian meal on Mondays, and be creative about it.

Not just an ordinary salad with lettuce and tomato, but an asparagus salad w/ Beluga lentils. Sounds like caviar.

You can use any lentils, but the black Beluga variety are small and firm, and you can buy them already cooked in a vacuum package bag at Trader Joe's (shhhh!).

The walnut dressing made w/ herbs from my garden was sensational.
I whizzed it together in my mini chopper and added some chives at the end.
Next time goat cheese is in order.

The original recipe calls for brown rice with the lentils, but since I am not a brown rice fan, I opted for just the lentils and doubled the amount.



Asparagus Salad w/ Beluga Lentils & Basil & Mint Pistou: (adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

2 cups cooked brown rice (I skipped the rice, but it's your choice)
1 1/4 cup cooked lentils (I used Black Beluga Lentils from Trader Joe's)
1 lb. asparagus
1/2 cup roughly chopped, fresh chives

Basil, Mint & Walnut Pistou:

2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup walnut pieces
juice of a fresh lemon
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Cook the lentils as per package directions and set in a bowl with the chopped chives.

Blanch asparagus spears for 2 1/2 minutes and put in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cut on the bias into 2" pieces. Add to the lentils.

Make dressing: In a food processor, pulse the garlic, salt and walnut pieces for a few seconds, then add your mint and basil and make a pistou (pesto). Add olive oil and lemon juice, hot pepper and black pepper to taste. Whiz around another second or two and pour over the lentils, chives and asparagus.



Mix together and garnish with some whole walnut pieces and goat cheese if desired.

Enjoy and Happy Monday!



5 comments:

Julie said...

Pre-cooked lentils?! Stacey! Who are you?!

Haha, just teasing. This looks just lovely. A creative use of asparagus, which I love but am running out of ideas for. Thanks!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Love the contrast of earthy colors. That walnut dressing sounds sublime!

The Japanese Redneck said...

A very healthy and pretty plate of food.

elra said...

Healthy, and delicious to start the week.

sara said...

lovely! looks great sans brown rice too, probably lighter on the tum! Love reading feedback, thank you :)