It was almost impossible to come up with a name for this salad because it's so jam-packed with delicious ingredients. Thanks to a combination of tart dried cherries, diced avocado, crumbled Feta cheese, Marcona almonds, and crumbled pita chips, every bite is tangy, creamy, salty, crunchy—the list goes on. Oh, and let's not forget the sautéed leeks, which add an unexpected depth of flavor.
A leafy green salad is a nice break from our go-to grain bowl, and we love the use of lentils, an ingredient we often overlook. And though it has several components, this dinner is a cinch to pull together: after cooking the lentils and the leeks, you'll toss the ingredients into your salad bowl and drizzle with a simple lemon vinaigrette. For a complete meal all in one bowl, top with a piece of fish or a soft-boiled egg. We served ours with broiled arctic char, and it was the most delicious dinner we've had in a while.
As always, adapt this recipe to your liking. Sub fresh cherries for dried when they're in season, use green lentils instead of black, or try goat cheese instead of feta. Most importantly, let us if you make it—we'd love to hear what you think!
Lentil, Feta, and Avocado salad with Lemon-Dijon vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup dried black lentils, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
- 1 large leek, halved and cleaned, sliced into thin half circles
- kosher salt
- 1 bunch arugula (or one 5 oz. clam shell), long stems trimmed
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- crumbled pita chips (optional)
- 1 small shallot, minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Cook the lentils according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the edges are golden and crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, Dijon, and maple syrup. Continue whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing reaches your desired consistency. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the arugula, lettuce, lentils, cucumbers, cherries and almonds in a large salad bowl. Toss with your desired amount of dressing until evenly coated. Top the salad with the leeks, feta, avocado, fresh mint, black pepper to taste, and pita chips, if using. Serve with any remaining dressing.
Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon.