WARM LENTIL SALAD WITH APPLES AND CURRANTS


As the weather growers colder, my appetite for heartier and richer meals grows, a desire that easily leads to recipes that call for a good dose of cream and butter.




So when I came across a recipe for warm lentil salad from fellow food blogger The Smart Palate, I paused. This dish appeared at once hearty, flavorful and satisfying without the addition of cream or butter. Hallelujah! Lentils are simmered with rosemary, bay leaf and thyme, absorbing an array of fresh herbal flavors, and then combined with caramelized apples and dried currant to add a delightful texture and  sweetness to the salad.
 
To add another dimension of texture, I threw in a handful of toasted pecans, which is optional, walnuts would also be a nice addition. This is a quick, healthy and flavorful dish, and best of all can be prepared in advance making this recipe a keeper!

Thanks so much for sharing Nancy!

WARM LENTIL SALAD WITH APPLES AND CURRANTS
(adapted from The Smart Palate) 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried French lentils (larger green or brown lentils would also be fine)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp minced thyme leaves (separated)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup) 
  • 1 apple, diced into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
    • or lemon juice
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pecans  or walnuts (optional)
Method
  1. Rinse lentils in a sieve, and pick through to remove any pebbles or other extraneous matter. Transfer lentils to a medium sauce pan and add cold water to cover, roughly 3 - 4 cups. Add bay leaf, rosemary sprig, thyme sprig, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered for 20 - 30 minutes, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain lentils and remove bay leaf and herb stems.
  2. While lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute onion with a pinch of salt until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add apple and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apple pieces are tender but not falling apart.
  3. In a medium bowl combine lentils, onion and apple mixture, parsley, currants, and chopped thyme. Dress with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in nuts, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 4

35 comments:

Juliana said...

Oh! Salad with lentil and apples...sure looks delicious :-)

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

What a wonderfully interesting combination of flavors. I want to make this soon; we adore lentils.

Thank you, (and Nancy) for sharing!

Great photos, as always ~ love the one with the herbs. It's suitable for framing!

Danielle said...

that does look like a wonderfully healthy hearty dish. Now if it would just start getting cold around here so I can enjoy a winter meal without sweating LOL.

Pam said...

What a delicious and healthy salad.

5 Star Foodie said...

Your lentils salad sounds excellent! I love the pairing with apples and currants!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

We love lentil salad at our house but yours sounds so refreshing with the apples & currants. Beautiful photo too. Bravo.
Sam

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I love a good lentil salad - harks back to my Paris days! This looks yummy!

HoustonWok said...

Wow do you eat healthly! I like the colorful fusion of this salad and did you say rich creamy buttery? How about two dishes please. lol i feel you when you talk about a little extra to love during the winter season. Being from Chicago, it's freezing in the winter, uck I hated it. It's like 15 minutes of fame is all is I need. Aww the snow is pretty, okay now lets get back in the house.

Laurie said...

This is my first visit, but I'll certainly be back. Your photos are gorgeous and I love the name of your blog. It's always nice to find someone with the same foodie ideals.

Anncoo said...

What a great blend of flavours. Good shots too.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh what a great salad and lovely pictures god job lol

Karine said...

I love to simmer lentils with fresh herbs. It gives them so an amazing flavor!

And with apples... great salad! :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks for all of your kind and thoughtful comments, I will be sure to pass it on to Nancy. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes!

Laurie - welcome to this blog!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful combination of textures and flavors in this healthy, hearty salad. Great photo.

Nancy said...

Hi Christine,

Beautiful photos, as always! I love the addition of pecans to the salad for bit of crunch. I'm going to try that next time I make this!

Thank you for posting the recipe, and I am glad you've enjoyed it.

Nancy

PS - Went on a trip to the North Fork on Saturday and will be posting trip pics soon. I am completely in love with the NF! I'm going to link to your recent NF posting from my post too :)

kat said...

A great combination of flavors!

high low said...

Rich, hearty, AND healthy?! This dish looks and sounds wonderfully earthy...and means I don't have to work out too much outside in the cold air!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Very nice herb picture!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So hearty, healthy and delicious looking!
Also, those are some pretty lentils. Mine are more dull in colour.

ChefDruck said...

What a great combination! Lentils are so good for you, so packed with iron, and so satisfying. Thanks for a great idea.

Sook the Cook said...

Wow all the ingredients that I have yet to try! The dish looks healthy and awesome!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

I've only eaten lentils a few times - they were so bland - I didn't really like them. But I think if I had them prepared differently, like in this flavorful salad that is just chock full of goodies, I would like them a lot better!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Wonderful salad...and those potatoes look so scrumptious.

Stay Cozy, Carrie

Pheebs said...

It looks really nice! I'll see whether I can get dried French lentils at the local supermarket.

Simply Life said...

Oh I love that you added apple to this - sounds like a great compliment to the flavors!

The Cooking Photographer said...

We are the lentil capital here. I am saving this! It's beautiful and healthy and new!


Thank-you,
Laura

3 hungry tummies said...

As the weather starts getting warmer here I'll have to bookmark your recipes for later use :)

Debinhawaii said...

I am a big lover of lentils. This salad looks delicious--a great combo of flavors.

Joanne said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! It seems like you've got a ton of great food on here.

I know what you mean about craving creamy, heavy things. Right now I just want to eat lasagna and mac and cheese every day. This recipe does sound amazing though! I love the caramelized apples that are used to spice (err sweeten) it up.

Kelsey B. said...

Mmm, this looks amazing! I love lentils and sweet flavors like apples or sweet potatoes. I love your wine post too!

Cristin said...

Looks yummy Christine!

Cristin

Flour said...

Me too!!! I'm such a sucker for cream & butter. This looks so amazing & healthy!

Divina Pe said...

This looks so heavenly. I always love lentils and this could be my next lentil dish.

Megan said...

That salad looks awesome! I just made one with lentils and pumpkin, and I have a bunch of leftover lentils, so maybe I'll give this one a try next!

Rhandi said...

Beautiful pic and this sounds absolutely fresh, healthy and delicious!