October 07, 2010

Lentil Salad

It might be thanks to the spring, sun and the warm weather, but for quite a while now I have been feeling really inspired, happy and excited. I am too superstitious to say too much, but lets just say life has been good lately. I have been inspired by many amazing blogs, I have been so excited to try new recipes and experiment with new ingredients, and it's these little things that make me so happy.

It is so easy to get stuck in the same routines day after day. Cooking has become something that really breaks up my routines almost daily. Yes I cook every day, but most of the time I'm trying out a new recipe, and when I'm using ingredients I haven't cooked with before, it's even more exciting. This is such an important part of my daily life. It's what creates the balance between work and the life outside work. I also like to do my exercise every day after work to clear my mind and get ready for some kitchen therapy. I have always been an active kind of a person, I can't sit still for too long, I like to 'get things done'.

This salad is inspirational to me because it is so full of flavour. When I was making this, I kept testing it, adjusting the spices, tasting some more, adjusting the vinegar, and so on. It was like painting a picture where you add layers of colours, shades and lights. This is exactly what I love!
There is a lot going on in this simple sounding salad: I love it quite vinegary, but you can adjust the amount of vinegar to your own liking. Taste and adjust, taste and adjust, that's what it's all about :-)

Lentil Salad
(Recipe adapted from My New Roots)

1 cup French style lentils
3 cups water

1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 wedge preserved lemon, skin only, finely chopped
3-4 tbs kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


100ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs organic apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt

Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water (and drain again). Place in a large bowl.

In a bowl, mix all vinaigrette ingredients together and whisk well to combine.

Mix the onions, preserved lemon, olives and parsley with the lentils, then spoon over the vinaigrette. Stir everything together and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Serve with baby spinach, rocket or other leafy greens.