Ok, so this is not the most seasonal of recipes, but a couple weeks ago I had the most fantastic roasted purple carrots in a restaurant, and since then I’ve been on a carrot kick. Growing up, I hated cooked carrots, so this new love of carrots is quite a surprise to me.
Continuing with the carrot theme, I stumbled across a great recipe for a Roasted Carrot, Lentil & Sunflower Salad on Daily Bites from the Pure Kitchen, a gluten free blog I recently discovered. (If you haven’t checked it out, there are lots of amazing gluten and dairy free recipes, as well as some great articles on health and nutrition, and loads of links to other inspiring recipes – definitely worth a visit!) I don’t have much experience cooking lentils, but I had a bag of puy lentils in the cupboard that I’d been meaning to use, so I decided to give them a go. I tweaked the recipe based on some leftover ingredients I needed to use up, and the resulting meal was so delicious and healthy – just what I was craving!
I decided to cook the lentils with kombu, a type of sea kelp that, when added to cooking water, helps make them more digestible and decreases cooking time. This is totally optional, but I really recommend picking some Kombu up the next time you are in a health or Asian food store, and start adding it to your cooking water. You can read a separate post I did about the wonderful world of Kombu and how to cook with it here.
Another great looking lentil recipe from In Pursuit of More: Fierce French Lentil Salad
Warm Lentil Salad with Sunflower Seeds & Roasted Root Veg
This recipe is very versatile, so if you don’t have all the ingredients, feel free to substitute similar ingredients instead
Makes: 2-3 servings as a main, or 4-6 servings as a side dish
- ¾ cup puy lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
- 1 4-inch strip of Kombu seaweed (optional)
- ¼ cup millet (optional, you can sub another grain or more lentils)
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
- 1 sweet potato, cut into ½ inch chunks
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- large handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Hempseed/flaxseed/olive oil
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Farenheit.
Soak a strip of kombu in cold water for 20 minutes. Add your lentils and a few inches of water to the kombu and its soaking water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender yet still firm enough to hold their shape; when 20 minutes cooking time remains, stir the millet into the lentils. When the lentils and millet are cooked, drain everything and place in a large mixing bowl. Remove the kombu and slice into thin strips; set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, it’s time to cook the root veggies. Lay them on a baking tray and drizzle a little olive oil over them, and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix the vegetable so that they are coated with the oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender; stir them every 10 minutes to ensure they do not burn.
Once everything has cooked, add the root vegetables to the lentils. Throw in the remaining ingredients, including the sliced kombu, give everything a generous drizzle of your oil of choice, and mix gently. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything one last time, and serve in bowls. Yum!