Lentil and Grape Salad

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It’s World Vegan Month!  Did you know?

This delightfully yummy salad made with French green lentils is one that you can enjoy all year round. The essential flavour in it is mint. Lovely, fresh spearmint. Fresh spearmint is one of my 4 favourite  herbs. I consider it a staple and I plant it every spring (the other 3 staple herbs are basil, cilantro and flat-leaf parsley).  Spearmint tastes great and it smells fantastic – crumple the leaves in the palm of your hand to release the aroma and inhale – aaaaah! Pure heaven.  If you’ve never grown your own spearmint before you should. Just be sure to contain it as it grows like mad and will overtake your garden if you allow it! 

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Inspired by a similar recipe in the book  Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn, this lentil salad is sweetness and lightness combined. The celery adds crunch and texture, and the the walnuts add an earthiness which pairs really well with the sweetness of the grapes to create perfect balance of flavours. 

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This salad is great served on its own or you can serve it on a bed of greens, such as spinach, mixed lettuces or arugula. I have also made this salad using sprouted green lentils to keep it ‘raw.’ I hesitate to label this as a completely raw salad though because balsamic vinegar is not raw. You could however, make this salad using all apple cider vinegar instead, which would make it raw.  Use any type of lentil you want except red lentils as red lentils do not hold their shape after cooking. You could also use beans or peas – try it with cooked white navy beans or fresh peas in the summer time. The recipe is made exactly the same regardless of the type of legume you use.  

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Raw Sprouted Green Lentils

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Lentil and Grape Salad using raw sprouted green French lentilsimg_9230

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked or sprouted green lentils
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4  cup chopped walnuts*
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook the lentils in 3 times their volume of water for 15-20 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to cool them down and then dump them in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss everything together gently to blend the ingredients and flavours. 

If you are sprouting the lentils, follow the directions for sprouting your own lentils before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

Cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 3 days. 

Yield: 4 generous servings

NOTES

*If you are making this salad ahead, place everything except the walnuts in a large bowl and toss. Add walnuts just before serving. 

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