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a good start

I hope you had a good start to 2014!

Like with every new year, I have hit the reset button and I am all charged up about getting back to blogging regularly, writing up all those wonderful stories that I’ve been wanting to write in 2013 but just didn’t get to them. I’m also very excited about the brand new toy Santa got me and can’t wait to share the beautiful pictures it takes for me. In the first few days of 2014, I’ve been cooking and clicking away!

Today I am sharing one of my recent successes in the kitchen – Lentil  & Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Lentil & Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Lentil  & Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

The idea of putting lentils and chick peas together is not new. I just took the two humble ingredients and created a beautiful salad by adding my Indian touch to it with the cumin vinaigrette. Cumin gives the salad a wonderful warmth and the tossed veggies add freshness, color and crunch. I love this simple salad for many reasons – it’s hearty, healthy, delicious and works great for lunch on-the-go.

Lentil & Chickpea Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

 

Makes about 4 cups of salad

1 cup uncooked lentils

2 cups water or stock

1/2 lemon

1-2 bay leaves

1 can of chickpeas/Garbanzo beans

2-3 scallions/green onions, sliced

4-5 springs of cilantro, minced

3-4 radishes, cut in sticks or sliced (optional)

1 Persian cucumber, diced (optional)

1 medium tomato, diced (optional)

handful of baby spinach/arugula leaves (optional)

The Cumin Vinaigrette

1/2 lemon

1 tsp whole grain mustard

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

salt

fresh ground black pepper

Zest the lemon, cut it in 1/2 and keep aside.

Cooking the Lentils

Rinse the lentils with water. In a pot, add the water/stock and the lentils. Add the bay leaves and juice from 1/2 of the lemon and bring it to a boil. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and lentils are cooked. Lentils should not be mushy but still have a bite to them. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaves and let it cool.

Preparing the Vinaigrette

In a small bowl, whisk the juice from the remaining 1/2 lemon with the mustard until the mustard has dissolved. Slowly add the measured amount of oil, whisking constantly until the oil is completely incorporated. Season with ground cumin, salt and fresh ground black pepper and whisk a little bit to mix well. Adjust seasonings if needed.

Assembling the Salad

Just before serving, combine the lentils with drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, green onions and cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette and combine the ingredients. Gently toss the fresh veggies. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and toss more. The ingredients should be lightly coated. Serve immediately.

For packed lunch – do not mix the fresh veggies into the lentil and chickpeas salad. You can lay them over the salad in your lunch box and they won’t wilt and become soft.

 

 

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