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A Salad of Roasted Vegetables with Marinated Lentils


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

In the heat of summer, it often takes a bit of motivation to prepare a hot meal…but if that hot meal creates left-overs that can be served later at room temperature…the initial effort is completely worthwhile.  Such is the case with this salad made of lentils and roasted vegetables. Admittedly, it requires a bit of peeling, slicing and dicing to prepare the vegetables for roasting, but the lentils can cook while the vegetables reach roasted sweetness.  When the cooking is completed, blend marinated lentils with slightly cooled, but still warm vegetables and serve over mixed lettuce.  Enhance the flavor of your salad with freshly shredded Parrano cheese, a Dutch cheese which combines the creamy texture of Gouda with the rich flavor of Parmesan to create a memorable rich, buttery flavor.
Served slightly warm or at room temperature, this salad makes a beautiful presentation…and a very tasty meal.
Enjoy!

A Salad of Roasted Vegetables with Marinated Lentils

Ingredients
For the lentils:
1 cup dry French green lentils, checked for foreign particles, then rinsed and drained in a sieve
1 ¾ cups cooking stock or water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1 small shallot (approximately 2 ½ ounces), finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion)
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For the lentil marinade:
2 tablespoons Arbequina olive oil
1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 -3 tablespoons pine nuts
For roasted vegetables:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 medium butternut squash, approximately 1 ¼ pounds, washed, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (could substitute sweet potatoes for the butternut squash, or use a mix of sweet potato and butternut squash)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 pound beets with green tops removed, washed, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium fennel bulb (7 – 8 ounces), washed, outer layer, stem end and inner core removed and sliced thinly from top to bottom
For the salad:
mixed lettuce, such as curly red and green leaf lettuce, butter crunch lettuce, etc. to provide a variety of color and texture
coarsely grated Parrano cheese to garnish (optional)
Directions
To cook the lentils:
Bring the cooking stock or water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the rinsed lentils, oregano, shallots, cumin, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and return the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to allow the lentils to simmer for 30- 35 minutes or until the lentils are al dente, or easy to chew and approximately 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid remains in the pan. Remove the sauce pan with the lentils from the heat and stir in the sea salt . (Adding salt prior to cooking causes the lentils to become tough.) Leave the lentils covered while allowing the mixture to cool to room temperature. After the lentils have cooled, remove ¾ cup (approximately 6 ounces) of the cooked lentils to use in the roasted vegetable salad. The remaining lentils can be refrigerated for up to one week to use in other dishes.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
To roast the vegetables:
Blend 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon Za’atar seasoning in a large bowl. Add the cubed butternut squash and use a spatula to coat the squash with the oil/spice mixture. Use a slotted spoon to remove the butternut squash from the bowl and arrange the coated squash cubes in a single layer on the upper one third of the parchment paper covered baking sheet.
In the same bowl, blend an additional 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt and ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper. Add the cubed beets to the olive oil, salt and pepper and use a spatula to coat the beets with the oil mixture. Use the slotted spoon to remove the marinated beets from the bowl and arrange the beets in a single layer on the middle third of the parchment paper covered baking sheet, leaving the lower third of the baking sheet to add the sliced fennel at a later time. Place the baking sheet with the butternut squash and beets in the preheated oven and roast for 10 minutes.
While the butternut squash and beets are beginning to roast, add the thinly sliced fennel to the remaining oil mixture in the bowl. Use a spatula to gently toss the fennel to coat with the oil mixture and allow the fennel to marinate during the 10 minutes that the other vegetables are beginning to roast.
After the squash and beets have roasted for about 10 minutes, remove them from the oven and add the marinated fennel slices in a single layer on the lower third of the baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue roasting the vegetables for an additional 20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
To marinate the lentils:
While the vegetables roast, blend 2 tablespoons Arbequina olive oil and 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar in the large bowl. Add ¾ cup of the cooked lentils, stirring to blend with the marinade. Stir in the pine nuts and allow the mixture to marinate while you prepare the lettuce.
To assemble the salad:
Rinse and drain the lettuce to remove all excess liquid. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and distribute among 4 dinner plates.
Blend the marinated lentil/pine nut mixture and the slightly cooled, roasted vegetables together in the large bowl. Spoon some of the vegetable/lentil mixture over the lettuce on each plate. Top each serving with coarsely grated Parrano cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 – 6 main dish servings.

 

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One Response to “A Salad of Roasted Vegetables with Marinated Lentils”

  1. Rose Hood Says:

    This is absolutely delicious!!!!