This year and last one of the sponsors was Canadian Lentils, and they put on a fantastic gluten free lunch for attendees on the second day. They also sent us home with enough lentils for a year, so I immediately had to get in the kitchen and come up with a new recipe. My son loves his lentil soup, and I like lentils in casseroles and salads. I wanted to make something that reminded me of the meal from the conference, but that had my own personal spin on it.
I call it Fall into Bliss Harvest Vegetable & Lentil Salad because it has all the flavours of the fall harvest, and reminds me of Blissdom Canada. I hope you like it as much as I do!
A word on the ingredients- I used the fall vegetables I had on hand, but I think this salad would be wonderful with roasted peppers or asparagus, squash, celery, or any variation of flavours you like. If honey-mustard vinaigrette isn't your thing, use you're favourite dressing instead. This salad was so delicious even the baby liked it!
For the salad
2 cups green lentils
4 cups water or vegetable broth, plus extra if needed
4 golden beets, cut in bite sized wedges (I like golden beets because they have a milder flavour than red beets and don't stain everything in site. They give beautiful colour to the salad.)
1 onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, halved
1/2 eggplant, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt & Pepper
For the dressing
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey (or agave for vegans)
1 tbsp. apple cider or white vinegar
1 tsp. chopped thyme (or dried)
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 375F
1- Arrange beets, onion, mushrooms, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and toss with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Use just enough oil to lightly coat. Roast vegetables until cooked through, about 30 minutes. I check and give them a stir every 15 minutes.
2- While vegetables are roasting, cook lentils. In a saucepan, bring water or broth to a boil. Pour in clean, washed lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. Lentils are done when they are soft, but not mushy. Add more water in small increments as needed. Remove from heat and drain excess water.
3- To make the dressing, mix mustard, honey or agave, vinegar, thyme, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl or glass jar. Mix briskly with a fork or shake in a closed jar to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
4- When vegetables are cooked, toss with lentils in a serving bowl. Let cool slightly, and add dressing, reserving a little to pour on top when serving. The lentils will soak up some of the dressing, so if serving later, make a bit more dressing to have on hand.
Serve with some chopped herbs on top. Crumbled blue cheese would also go nicely with the honey-mustard dressing. This would make a great alternative side dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. It has all the flavours of fall, but is a bit of a fresh twist on tradition.