Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad

Serve this colorful and nutritious vegetarian salad as a delicious main course or a fabulous side dish.

For the Lentils:
1 cup French green lentils (du Puy)
1 large bay leaf
3 large garlic cloves cut in half

For the Sweet Potatoes:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 Tbs. vegetable or light olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

For the Dressing:
1/8 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced 
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

To Finish the Salad: 
2 small seedless cucumbers, peeled and diced
4 scallions, white parts chopped, green tops sliced
1 15-oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained well
¾ oz. pkg. fresh dill, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1. Place lentils, garlic cloves, and bay leaf in a pot with cold water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil. Simmer lentils until tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse in cool water and drain well, discarding bay leaves and garlic. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. To roast sweet potatotes, heat oven to 400 F. In a 9x13-inch pan, toss potato cubes with oil and rosemary. Cover with foil and roast for 12 minutes. Remove foil, shake pan, and continue roasting until potatoes are tender, about 12 -15 minutes more. Drain/cool on paper towels. (Sweet potatoes may be boiled - about 8-10 minutes, or steamed - about 6-7 minutes, until tender. Drain well.)

3. Blend ingredients for dressing together. Fold into lentils. Add potatoes and all remaining ingredients, folding gently to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

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