Lentil Salad with Ginger Pickled Carrots and Dukkah

What You'll Need

Equipment
Ingredients For the Ginger Pickled Carrots
  • 4 or 5 medium carrots, scrubbed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • small knob of fresh ginger (about 1/2 ounces) peeled and sliced
For the Lentils
  • 1 cup green lentils, preferably soaked at least 8 hours or overnight
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Dukkah
  • 1 cup raw unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle
  • fine sea salt to taste
To Serve
  • 1 small head tender lettuce
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • ginger pickled carrots
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Dukkah
  • Flaky sea salt
It’s best, if you can, to make the Ginger Pickled Carrots in this recipe ahead of time, so that the flavors permeate deeply into the carrot ribbons. If you’re moving fast, though, it’s ok; the thin slices of carrot absorb flavor quickly, and even 20 minutes of soaking, say while the lentils cook, is sufficient. The French Green lentils are the cutest little things, round and tender and moist, perfect for absorbing a tangy dressing. And the recipe for dukkah makes enough for a few servings, so you’ll have some left over for further explorations. I like to serve the salad with the dukkah on the side, so folks can add more to their own plates, as they like. The lettuce leaves make a frilly green frame for the lentils, but my favorite thing about this dish is the way the lettuce leaves serve a little scoops for the lentils; you can pick up a cupped leaf of lettuce, full of lentils and spices and mint and dried fruit, and eat the season, right out of your hand.

This recipe comes to us from Naturally Nourished Cookbook: Healthy, Delicious Meals Made with Everyday Ingredients, a lovely vegetarian cookbook by the author of My New Roots.
salad ingredients

Directions

Make the Ginger Pickled Carrots ahead of time, if possible; the flavors mellow and meld, the longer the carrots soak. Wash and scrub the carrots well, and use a wide vegetable peeler to slice them into wide ribbons. cut carrot ribbonsPeel and slice the ginger, and add both carrots and ginger to a glass vessel like a jar or this measuring cup.
ginger carrotsMix the maple syrup and salt into the apple cider vinegar, and pour the mixture over the carrots. Top off with water, if necessary, to cover the vegetables, and place it in the fridge to steep while you make the lentils.


Cook the lentils until they are tender, adding the salt at the end after they are mostly cooked so that the skins get tender before salting. (If you haven’t soaked them beforehand, you’ll have to about double the cooking time). Rinse the lentils under running water and cover to keep warm.

Make the dukkah. Toast the hazelnuts at 350° F in the oven for 15 minutes. toast hazlenutsRemove from the oven and allow the nuts to cool. Rub the papery skins from the nuts if they seem ready to come off, otherwise, leave ‘em on. Place the hazelnuts and sesame seeds in a food processor and pulse until the texture has become a coarse sand.

In a heavy skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds. toast cuminPlace them in a mortar and pestle with the peppercorns and grind them coarsely. Add the spices and salt to the hazelnut and sesame mixture in the food processor, and pulse until the mixture is evenly mixed. Be careful not to blend too far, or you will have a delicious nut butter, less suited to this particular recipe; you want a moist, coarse sandy texture.
mix in mortar and pestle
Store the mixture in an airtight jar, like this amber Elite pint jar. It should keep well in the fridge for 6 months, but you’ll use it before then.

Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together, add the spices and whisk again. prepare dressingToss the still-warm lentils with half of the dressing, and set aside.
toss lentils in dressingPrepare the mint leaves, and chop the prunes into raisin-sized bites.

To serve, arrange the lettuce leaves (butter lettuce works especially well) around the edges of a plate or wide serving platter.

Spoon the lentils over the top of the lettuce, mounding it in the center.
arrange salad on serving plateArrange the pickled carrot ribbons over the lentils.
Scatter the chopped prunes and mint leaves over the top of the lentils, and drizzle the remainder of the dressing over. dress with remaining dressingSprinkle the dukkah liberally over the top, and serve.

sprinkle dukkahOver to You

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