All Spice Game
A creative mind is also a restless one, that never settles for simplicity or an easy way out. These days, when pre-Easter fasting has seemed to limit our cooking choices, are not to be considered a restriction to your dietary cravings, but rather a perfect excuse to go all out and explore different ways of preparing and mixing the same old ingredients that you were just about to get very bored with.
Indian cuisine, as well as vegan creativity, has lead to some serious new recipes that treat pulses with the respect they deserve and the inspiration they need to create fascinating plates of wondrous, rich flavours. In this particular recipe, that is truly my favourite way to eat du puy lentils, the mixing of all the different spices may look intimidating, as one may think they could easily cover up the subtle taste of the pulses.
But this is not the case, here, as a clever combination and perfect balance between them leads to bringing out the best in your recipe, while the honey and mustard dressing works its magic when poured over the slightly warm lentils, allowing them to absorb it to their core. Protein fuelled lightness never tasted this good.
My favourite Spicy Lentil Salad
2 cups du puy lentils
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 onion, finely diced
140 g raisins cut in half
40 g capers, chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped
cilantro or parsley, chopped to garnish
1. Rinse and drain the de puy lentils. Place the lentils in a pot covered with 7 to 10 cm of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, for 15 to 20 minutes. The lentils are done when they retain a slight bite to them (i.e. you don’t want them to be soggy).
2. For the dressing: While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. In a jar add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and spices. Seal the jar and shake well to combine all the ingredients.
3. When lentils are cooked, remove from heat and drain. Once they have cooled slightly–but are still warm–place in a big serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Stir in the diced onion, raisins and capers.
4. Just before serving, add the walnuts and the herbs. This salad can be kept covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.Serves 6 to 8