If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, salad is so much more than lettuce on a plate, salad is about texture and the layering of, said, textures.
I believe one of the reasons salad gets a bad rap is due to lack of texture and lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. I routinely look to lentils for texture in salads and they’ve yet to fail me.
Salads were once colourless afterthoughts, nothing more than leaves on a plate; but now we adorn them with vegetable noodles- VEGETABLE NOODLES PEOPLE- I'm still amazed by zucchini noodles. It really is the future.
This salad is made beautiful by the bright zucchini threads and the vibrant red onion. About red onion. If you think you dislike raw red onion, I assure you, you simply haven’t had it done right. You see, when you soak the sliced red onion in warm water for 30 minutes, followed by a good rinse, what’s left is a mildly sweet onion flavour that complements this salad so well. The bitter onion acridity, literally, goes down the drain.
Herbs and cheese often find themselves in my salads, for the B+B- balance and bright flavours. Herbs change food, they improve any dish by their addition; and the beauty of herbs is they can be interchanged for similar herbs ie. basil for mint or thyme for rosemary etc. It’s a great time to experiment with herbs, summer is when herbs have their biggest moment of the year! Nonetheless, I chose basil, dill and cilantro in this case.
Cheese is dynamic, and like herbs, are generally interchangeable for similar types of cheese. And what can I say? Cheese is amazing, we all know that. Whether you choose cow’s, goat’s, soy or cashew, cheese enhances the flavour of anything- including salad. In this case I used parmesan.
This salad was for a potluck hosted by one of my favourites, in honour of awesome women, and I simply cannot resist an opportunity to break bread in celebration of girl power!
Whether in celebration of P-Power or lunch on a Friday, this salad should go into your mouth!
- 1 ½ cups cooked lentils
- 1 zucchini spiralized*
- ½ red onion, sliced into half moons, soaked and drained
- ¼ cup basil, cilantro, dill leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large salad bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, miso, honey, salt and pepper until well combined. Add the lentils, zucchini and red onion and toss to coat.
To serve, toss with herbs and parmesan.