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April 28: Lunchbreak - Mediterranean-Style Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

CookingWGN

Pooja Mottl

For more tips and recipes:

www.poojasway.com

Mediterranean-Style Roasted Red Pepper & Lentil Salad w/Lemon Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 to 4 1/2 cups (salad) and 3/4 cup (dressing)
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 large red bell pepper, deseeded, pith removed, cut into halves (about 15 oz)
1 cup puy (French) lentils, rinsed several times and drained
3 cups cold water
pinch sea salt
1 small onion, diced into 1/4 inch cubes (about 4 oz)
2 celery stalks, diced into 1/4 inch cubes (about 3 oz or 1/2 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
handful parsley, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed, finely chopped
several turns fresh black pepper
few pinches sea salt

Dressing:
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 small garlic cloves/shallots, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Dress pepper halves with olive oil. Roast in convection oven at 400 F for 20 minutes or until very soft and crisp at edges. Let cool. Then dice into 1/4 inch cubes. Set aside in large mixing bowl. Add lentils and cold water to sauce pot and bring to a boil. Add salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until al dente. Remove from heat, drain and let cool. Then transfer to large mixing bowl holding pepper. Gently mix in carrots, celery, onions and parsley into bowl with lentils. Add salt and pepper.
For dressing, add all ingredients except olive oil into a blender. Blend on high for 10 seconds. Gradually add oil and blend again until dressing is fully emulsified and smooth. Pour 1/2 cup to 3/4 dressing over lentils and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate.

Tips:

French lentils are a great protein source that is inexpensive, delicious and simple to make.

You need to be sure to rinse the dry lentils several times before cooking.

Roasting the peppers in an oven ahead of time lends a wonderful sweetness to this dish.

Emulsifying is a kitchen technique used to create dressings and sauce by immersion of oil with an acid like lemon juice.

You can use the dressing for so many other dishes. Works well on salads, greens or grains.

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