This humble little pulse packs a hefty nutritional punch but sometimes tastes a little dull. Get your fill of incredible health benefits and flavour with our spiced lentil salad.
Lentils are considered one of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet. Here’s why:
- They contain high levels of protein
- They are a good source of dietary fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer and reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood
- They provide folic acid, which aids in the production of red blood cells and promotes tissue growth
- They contain Vitamin B1, which is needed to release energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates and helps maintain the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
- They provide minerals, which help keep the cardiovascular system and body cells healthy.
- They are a good source of iron, which allows oxygen to be transported from the lungs around the body.
Don’t be put off by the long list of spices in this recipe. Their combination of spicy, sweet and salty flavours, together with the wonderful “al dente” texture of the lentils and crunch of the carrots and onion, really make this dish. This salad will keep in the refrigerator for a few days in an air-tight container.
Spiced lentil salad
Serving size 4
- 500 grams French green lentils
- 40 millilitres extra virgin olive oil
- 30 millilitres apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of allspice
- 1 small red onion
- 100 grams dried cranberries
- 50 grams capers
- 2 medium carrots
- In a colander, rinse the lentils thoroughly and drain them. Place the lentils in a pan, cover them with approximately 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the lentils to cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Ensure the lentils are not overcooked or soggy.
- While the lentils are cooking, finely dice the onion, cranberries and carrots to roughly the same size. Set the diced ingredients aside in a large bowl along with the capers.
- Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl by whisking together the oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt, pepper and spices.
- Once the lentils are cooked but still retain a slight bite, remove the pan from the hob, drain the lentils and rinse them under cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain them again and allow the lentils to cool for an additional 5 minutes.
- Pour the cooled lentils into the bowl containing the diced onion, cranberries, carrots and capers. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and stir to ensure all the ingredients are coated.
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