It’s finally time for the Lunch Edition of #lentilfest! Kick that mid-winter mid-day slump to the curb with this brilliant lentil spinach salad.
I’ve been waiting for this day for so long!
This salad brings together so many of the things I love in one bowl.
First of all, lentils! Remember back in the day when I dropped a basic french lentil recipe on y’all and was super excited and told you my next three posts would give you ideas for how to use lentils at breakfast, lunch and dinner!?!
I was even bold enough to give it a name. And a hashtag. #lentilfest.
And then, remember when my very next post brought you this yummy baked eggs and lentils breakfast?!?
And then three weeks later (!) I shared an easy, healthy broiled salmon dinner?
If you’re paying attention you’ll notice two things. 1) I have a slight problem following a schedule. 2) I skipped lunch.
Skipping lunch is a bad bad bad idea.
UNLESS…..unless you’re skipping it because you’re waiting for permission to reprint the recipe for your favorite vinaigrette in all the land because no other dressing will do.
Believe me, I tried. Because I suck at waiting for permission. But this salad needs this vinaigrette created by my favorite NYC chef and restaurateur.
I’m talking about Gabrielle Hamilton and Prune© Vinaigrette. I’m incredibly thankful to have her permission to share that recipe here and so excited for you to try it!
Two more of my favorite things about this salad are the roasted pearl onions – love those savory, slippery orbs playing against the chewiness of the lentils – and, of course, my spicy brown butter croutons. I’m still crushing on them big time.
But now I feel bad because the spinach is the only thing in this salad that I didn’t single out as being one of my “favorites.” See? Once you start getting into “favorites” it’s a slippery slope. I should know this by now!
Especially in this salad.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Soak onions in warm water for 5 minutes.
- With a paring knife, remove ends of onions and peel.
- Toss peeled onions well with olive oil and garlic salt on a baking sheet.
- Roast, stirring frequently, until tender (about 15 minutes.)
- Allow onions to cool.
- In four salad bowls, lay a bed of baby spinach.
- Top with about a ¼ cup basic french lentils and as many onions and croutons as you desire.
- Dress with Prune© Vinaigrette (recipe follows below.)
- 3 cloves fresh, firm, sticky cloves garlic, peeled just before using
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2½ cups blended olive oil
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons water
- Add garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor and start it running.
- Add the mustard, then the vinegar, and, when the contents of the bowl are fully blended, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream to emulsify.
- Season with pepper.
- Stop the motor, taste for balance between acid and salt and garlic, and, with the motor running, add the adjustments as necessary.
- **This is not a shy vinaigrette but still, there should be balance - you don't want the attack of the vinegar too forceful or the aggression of the garlic to make anybody sit back uncomfortably. Equally the black pepper needs to be ground to the right flake so that the customer does not end up with half a peppercorn lodged in her tooth, burning away.
- **Often, a couple teaspoons of cold water added at the ed brings the whole package into shape - taste-wise and texture-wise. Because some batches of vinegar are mellower than others and because the size and force of garlic cloves vary, adjust as needed by adding oil to calm it if it is too bright, adding a clove of microplaned garlic if it is too subtle, or adding a little water if it is too assertive in general.
*Keep ratio 4:1 oil to vinegar
From PRUNE by Gabrielle Hamilton, copyright © 2014 by Gabrielle Hamilton. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC.