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Warm Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Active Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 17-23 minutes / Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Corner: Soaking Grains
Soaking your grains helps to remove some of the natural phytic acids present. Phytic acids are used as part of a plant's defense mechanism, however, when we consume them, these anti-nutrients inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption in our digestive tract. Soaking also helps to break down proteins, making grains easier to digest, and can drastically reduce cooking time.

Warm Lentil Salad w Tahini Dressing.JPG

Ingredients:

  • For the dressing:
    • ½ cup sesame tahini
    • ½ cup hot water, plus more for desired consistency
    • juice of ½ a lemon, plus more to taste
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:
    • 1 cup brown lentils, soaked overnight if possible, rinsed and drained
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • ¼ cup onion, finely diced
    • 5 oz. baby kale
    • ½ small cucumber, peeled and diced
    • 1 small zucchini, peeled and diced
    • 1 small bell pepper, any color, diced
    • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • ½ cup mint, chopped
    • ½ cup roasted, unsalted pistachios

Directions:

  1. Place lentils, sea salt, onion, and 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are almost tender, between 12-15 minutes.
  2. Add the kale and cook until lentils are tender and kale is wilted, another 5-8 minutes.
  3. Drain lentils and kale well and place in a large bowl.
  4. Toward the end of the lentil/kale cooking time, in a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini and hot water. When fully combined, whisk in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust for seasoning and consistency.
  5. Add ½ of the warm dressing to the warm lentils and kale and toss.
  6. Add cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper, and half each of the parsley and mint to the lentil mixture. Stir in ½ of the remaining dressing.
  7. Place ¼ of the lentil salad on each of two serving plates. Top each with 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 tablespoon mint, and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons pistachios. Serve.
  8. Package remaining salad, mint, parsley, and pistachios in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow. Keep refrigerated until needed. The salad is good cold, at room temperature, or slightly warmed in a microwave.