Green Lentil and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

 

Words don’t always flow easily even for the most masterful of wordsmiths – I’m even losing a game of scrabble to my significant other. Still, the subtle irony present in prose regarding a lack of literary imagination is infinitely preferable to an awkward silence. Oh well, since these situations tend to remedy themselves I shan’t worry too much. Please enjoy my fibrous musings!

Lentils, of any variety, are and always will be some of my favourite types of food. Not only are they eminently inexpensive, they provide a great vehicle for flavour and make a rather pleasing substitute for meat in certain vegetarian dishes. Green lentils, unlike red lentils, are particularly effective when used in dishes erroneously entitled ‘salad’. You see, the preponderance of green lentils over red lentils in this case is down to their firm structural constitution. Similarly, red lentils are used in the preparation of mushy dishes, such as the Indian dhal, since they are lacking a determined culinary backbone.

Shallots aren’t ingredients I make use of particularly frequently; they are rather more expensive than the humble onion. However, as one may be aware, these dwarf vegetables are rather piquant and such a characteristic means that they are, in certain situations, rendered simply indispensable. For instance, onion vinaigrette doesn’t sound nearly as appealing. Luckily, the plucky punch afforded by the shallots works famously with the subtle flavour of the lentils and they combine to make a rather tempting proposition for one’s taste buds.

N.B – It seems as though my scrabble situation may have been rectified.

Green Lentil and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 100g dried green lentils

• 2-3 bay leaves

• 1 carrot, grated

• 1 shallot, minced

• 3 tbsp olive oil

• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

• Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Cook the lentils according to packet instructions along with a single bay leaf. While the lentils are boiling away prepare your vinaigrette by mixing the minced shallot with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It may emulsify, it may not.

2. Once the Lentils are cooked, but retain a little of their texture, remove them from the heat, drain and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Mix the grated carrot into the lentils and serve after drizzling with the vinaigrette.

Cost: As set forth above, lentils are exceedingly inexpensive. Happily, this means that the entire dish shouldn’t be too pricey, particularly since it contains only a single shallot. Indeed, the entire salad, best served as a side or light lunch, should set one back a mere 40p.

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24 comments on “Green Lentil and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

  1. cookinginsens
    May 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Nice vinaigrette! I also like your receptacle for the lentils and bay leaves.

  2. Somer
    May 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Dude, you should have been in the virtual vegan potluck today http://anunrefinedvegan.com/virtual-vegan-potluck/

    your dish fits right in!

    Maybe next time ;)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      I’m in two minds about it since I believe the moral argument surrounding veganism is a little tenuous, but there we go, let’s not get too serious :D

      • Somer
        May 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

        I totally get that, but you make such FABULOUS VEGAN dishes! You would be perfect! Lots of non-vegan bloggers participated… Think about it, plus it’s a crazy good way to drive traffic to your blog ;) BTW, I’m a vegan for health reasons, not for animal activism. See this post
        http://goodcleanfood.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/sick-of-being-sick/
        I was totally jonesing over your brownies today, if I could eat them and not get sick, I totally would!!!

        • frugalfeeding
          May 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm

          Thanks, Somer. I’m sorry they would make you sick. I shall check it out and mull over the whole thing…

          • Somer
            May 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

            Radical! Thanks frugal or er, Nick ;) It’s ok, I can still make brownies (and do!) just not ones with cream cheese anymore. I think there is a vegan cream cheese substitute but it’s probably pretty artificial and nasty….Like vegan cheese!

          • frugalfeeding
            May 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

            Hehe, ah I see. Then my gluten free one’s you should try.

          • Somer
            May 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

            Looking them up now!

          • frugalfeeding
            May 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm

            I saw :D

  3. Sweet Southern Comfort
    May 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Hi there! I’ve nominated Frugal Feeding for the One Lovely Blog award. Check out more info her: http://sweetsoutherncomfort.com/2012/05/11/one-lovely-blog-award/. Love your recipes!

  4. Willow
    May 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Wow. Your words say it all! Lentil’s are forever and always a favorite of mine. :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks, Willow. I’m glad we’re on the same page :D

  5. Shira
    May 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    What a simple, beautiful salad. I simply adore lentils, and this is such a wonderful way to use them! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks! If only it has proved more popular, Shira.

  6. Just A Smidgen
    May 14, 2012 at 1:42 am

    I had no idea red lentils lacked a backbone. I fail miserably at Scrabble.. I’ll spell a word so ridiculously long and complex (admittedly proud of the word I’ve created) but have nowhere to place it.. and my friend will lay down a tile nestled between two others and score triple points..

    • frugalfeeding
      May 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Oh they do! Cowards. I love it and play it all the time. You’ve got to be tactical and ruthless.

  7. Becca's Kitchen
    May 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Brilliant! I love that flavor combination. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I found your blog – love it!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 18, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you do. I hope to see some more comments :D

  8. A Little Yumminess
    May 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Lentils are our favorite too. I am on a bit of a lentil kick. Cheap and protein packed! Thanks for this one.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Exactly. I’m glad you like it – not many others did :D

  9. sybaritica
    May 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Nice recipe… I bet it would work nicely with chickpeas.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      Yes, it really would. any pulses to be honest.

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