Lentil Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette and Walnuts
This flavorful salad holds up in the fridge for up to five days, so it’s a great make-ahead for picnics and potlucks.
Recipe from local dietitian, Rachel Alves
Serves 6 to 8
1 1/4 cups French green lentils
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup shredded carrots (2 carrots)
½ European cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch half moons
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
1 cup green or black olives, pitted and halved
1 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint or basil
½ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Shaved Parmesan (optional)
½ cup sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon maple syrup
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the lentils, thyme, and bay leaf in a large pot. Cover with several inches of water and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until the lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and drain the lentils. Discard the thyme stem and bay leaf, and transfer the lentils to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Combine the vinegar, thyme, mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper in a 2-cup jar. Cover the jar with a lid and shake vigorously.
While the lentils are still warm, add a little dressing to them and toss to coat. Add the carrots, cucumber, celery, olives, peppers, and herbs to the bowl. Drizzle with one-third of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Add more dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the salad into a serving bowl or rimmed platter and top with walnuts and Parmesan, if using.