Given it’s become so cold outside, I guess it’s time to enjoy a delicious winter salad! This vegetarian lentil salad is a wholesome dish, both sweet and savory and naturally gluten free.
I have always loved lentils: they are easy to prepare and super versatile with many various health benefits. Lentils are actually low in calories but high in nutrition: of all legumes and nuts, they contain the third-highest level of protein (which makes them perfect for vegetarians) and are also a good source of fiber and vitamins with virtually no fat. One portion of lentils leaves you feeling full and satisfied.
I made this lentil salad recipe especially for you today, bringing a sweet and savory touch to the whole dish, with some wonderful honey balsamic caramelized pears (you’re gonna love them) on one hand, that contrast beautifully with the strong character of the blue cheese on the other hand.
Add some hazelnuts and cranberries, and pour the shallot dressing on top and you will end up with an elegant, sophisticated dish that will blow your mind!
This lentil dish is just perfect for meatless Monday. However, for all of you who are meat-eaters (which I am, occasionally), you can also add some diced bacon to the dish. With or without meat, you can accompany your dish with a glass of red wine.
- 1¼ cup (250g) lentils
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g arugula salad
- 150g blue cheese, diced
- 4 small pears
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup cranberries
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- ½ tbsp mustard
- ½ small shallot, minced
- Salt & pepper
- Rinse the lentils and toss them in the olive oil. Add 3 times the volume in water and boil them on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, slice the pears in 4 and reserve.
- Heat some butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat, then pour the honey and balsamic together. Soak the pears and let them caramelize on all sides. Be careful to not burn them. Reserve.
- Prepare the dressing with the olive oil, vinegar, minced shallot and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
- On a large bowl, toss together the arugula salad with the lentils. Add the hazelnuts and cranberries. Pour the dressing and toss well. Serve on 4 plates with the caramelized pears on top.