I have just made the most delicious winter salad imaginable. I’ve literally just finished eating it, and wanted to share it with you right away. I get a bit tired of regular lettuce salads, particularly in the winter when at lunchtime, I want something a little more hearty – so this is a perfect winter lunch. You can make it a day ahead and take it in a reusable container to work. It also keeps well – for up to 3 days covered, in the fridge.
All the spicy tastes and different creamy textures work so beautifully in this dish, which would also make for a really impressive appetizer – obviously served on small salad plates.
Go ahead and give this a go, as I’m quite convinced you’ll enjoy it as much as I just have!
2 cups cherry tomatoes (try to find organic)
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp sea salt
2 cups green lentils
3 cups of water
1/2 cup good olive oil
1tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tsp honey
Salt and Pepper to taste
4tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 tsp chiptole paste (I make my past by blasting a can of Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce in my blender. You can find this at the ethnic section in large grocery stores, and once you’ve made your puree, it will keep in an airtight container in your fridge for months).
1 ripe avocado (optional).
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
Place the tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. It’s best to use your hands here to massage in the oil (great for your cuticles!). Sprinkle with cumin and salt and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until everything is nicely brown and slightly shriveled.
Place the lentils and the water in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 25 minutes and then drain off any excess water. All them to begin to cool.
Meanwhile whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, parsley/cilantro, honey and seasoning.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 tsp of chipotle paste into your creme fraiche or sour cream.
When the veggies have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
Spoon the lentils onto a platter and gently mix in the onions. Top with the tomatoes, taking care not to mix them in – as you don’t want everything to become mushy. Dress the salad and then drizzle your Chipotle Cream over the top.
If you want to, add slices of ripe avocado.