Warm Lentil and Spinach Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Warm Lentil and Spinach Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

What a welcome blast of Spring! My palate is casting aside prior cravings for rich, comfort food and yearning –instead – for a savory nutritious salad.

Many, many years ago I remember eating a lentil
dish at a local restaurant. It was deliciously simple, seasoned with balsamic  vinegar and fresh rosemary. I’ve always loved it and often try recreating my  memory of that recipe.

I haven’t noticed the salad on their menu in years and never “penned” a recipe until  today. This dish could very well have morphed into something quite different  from that original lentil salad. The recipe, nevertheless, is delicious and  brings back happy memories of many a memorable meal

Extra virgin olive oil could substitute for walnut oil,  if desired. Black or French Green lentils would, as well, be a lovely substitute  for the brown lentils used. It occurred to me that toasted pine nuts and  slivered proscuitto would be nice additions. I’ll save it for the next time.

Recipe: Warm Lentil and Spinach Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup diced carrots (2 medium-sized carrots)
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 scant teaspoon fresh minced rosemary, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 8 cups fresh spinach, stems trimmed and washed well

Instructions

  1. Rinse lentils and remove any visible small stones. In 4 cups salted water, bring lentils and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, with cover ajar, until desired tenderness is reached, 15-25 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the walnut oil in large sauté pan. Sauté carrots until just tender, about 3 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining walnut oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and rosemary. Remove carrots from pan and toss with onion and cooked lentils in walnut vinaigrette. Season to taste with additional vinegar, if desired, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. In same pan, sauté spinach with a pinch of kosher salt, until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve lentils over wilted spinach and garnish, if desired, with rosemary sprigs.

Time: 25 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3 servings (3 cups of lentil-carrot salad)

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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