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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Goat Cheese, Apple, and Lentil Salad

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Whenever I mentioned lentils, my friend Juli recalls her only experience with lentils: day after day after day of lentil soup for lunch while she studied abroad in Spain. Although I'm a fan of lentil soup, I've discovered that there are so many other ways to enjoy these legumes that are chock full of nutritious benefits! Knowing they're full of fiber, iron, and folate makes me that much more inclined to find ways to use them. I found this salad recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook (The Complete Quick Cook).

The recipe notes mentioned that this could be made ahead of time, making it a great option for those who want a healthful lunch for a few days. I did this, but didn't add the goat cheese until just before serving. The rest of the ingredients held up well, and the extra time in the fridge helped the flavors to mesh together. My only complaint was that the cider vinegar was a little bold. I suggest adding 1 or 2 tbsp to start and adding additional if necessary!

How do you use lentils? Recipe suggestions and links welcomed!
Other lentil recipes on The Sweets Life include Shrimp & Apple Kabobs with Curried Lentils, Lentil Sloppy Joes, Garam Masala Lentils and Potatoes, and my favorite...Lentil Burgers with Tzatziki!

One Year Ago: Spinach and Apple Salad with Crispy Almonds
Two Years Ago: Kahlua Brie Appetizer

Goat Cheese, Apple, and Lentil Salad
from Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook

-1 1/2 cups dried lentils
-1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
-3/4 cup shredded carrot
-1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
-1 small shallot, minced
-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-2 tbsp toasted walnut or almond oil
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 oz crumbled goat cheese

1. Sort and wash lentils, drain. Place lentils in a large saucepan. Cover with water to two inches above lentils. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool. (Can be done ahead of time).
2. Add apple, carrot, celery, and shallot to the bowl with the lentils.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss with lentil mixture. Sprinkle with goat cheese.