Lentil & Radicchio Salad with Walnuts
This is one of my favorite Yotam Ottolenghi recipes. It is truly a meal in a bowl with a richly flavored layered salad resplendent with fresh green herbs and crunchy sweet walnuts and lentils. When I first made this dish, I used manuka honey, which can be found in health food stores. Manuka has a strong, woodsy flavor that colors the whole dish with a unique aroma. However, manuka is expensive and not available at your local grocer, so feel free to substitute with your favorite full flavored honey.
The radicchio’s bitterness offers the right balance to the sweetness of the honey, but if you wish to substitute, try replacing with Belgian endive. Make the effort to find the slate-green Puy lentils. They have a unique peppery flavor and hold their shape during cooking. They are the only lentils to be identified by area of cultivation – grown in the Le Puy region of France.
- 1 C Puy lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 Tb manuka honey (divided)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp water
- 3 Tb red wine vinegar
- ½ C olive oil
- ½ medium radicchio or 2 heads red Belgian endive
- 2 oz pecorino fiore sardo, shaved, or goat cheese
- 2/3 C basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2/3 C roughly chopped dill
- 2/3 C roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 300 degree F.
Put lentils and bay leaves in a medium saucepan; cover with plenty of water. Simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well, remove bay leaves and return to the pan.
While lentils are cooking, prepare the walnuts. In a bowl, combine ¼ C honey, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and ¼ tsp salt in a small bowl. Mix well, adding just enough water to create a thick paste.
|Half walnuts for the salad|
|Walnuts in honey paste|
Whisk together the vinegar, half the oil, the remaining honey, ¾ tsp salt and some black pepper until the honey dissolves. Stir into the lentils while they are still hot; let cool slightly.
|Lentils with honey, oil and vinegar|
Add walnuts to the honey paste and stir until well coated. Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once, until golden and crunchy but still sticky. Remove from oven and set aside, removing them from the parchment paper as soon as they are cool enough to touch.
|Walnuts after baking 20 minutes|
Pour remaining oil into a sauté pan and place on high heat. Cut radicchio into 8 wedges, place in hot oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for 1 minute on each side, transfer to a large bowl. Add the lentils, walnuts, cheese and herbs. Stir gently; season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
|Herbs and spices to bring the salad to life!|
This makes a great entrée salad for lunch or dinner…and fabulous for Meatless Monday.
Modified from: Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi