High source of lean protein, potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, vitamin K, folate, iron, and particularly rich in dietary fiber, lentils are desired more than ever. Not only by vegetarians and vegans, but by diet and taste-buds conscious alike. There are as many varieties of lentil salads as you can imagine. Ones simply tossed with just diced tomatoes, to ones with a touch of decadence added with crumbled feta cheese and walnuts/pecans. But mostly I think, the dressing makes the difference between a good lentil salad and a great lentil salad. This particular version is one of a very flavorful dressing which also enhances the flavor of the ingredients.
Of all the lentil varieties, green lentils are ideal for salads, which hold their shape. Generally taking the longest to cook, there is little chance of overcooking for them to fall apart. They keep a firm texture even after cooking, which is desired. Look for the packaging labeled, fancy green lentils, French green lentils or Lentilles du Puy.
Lentil Salad with Apple, Pumpkin seeds & Cilantro
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 128 g/ 1 cup green lentils (expands to 3 times after cooking)
• 90 ml/ 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 90 ml/ 6 Tbsp lime juice
• 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated ( see  for clever storage and usage of ginger)
• 1½ tsp honey
• 1 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper
• 200 g/ 1 medium sized apple, tart Granny Smith works well or → , peeled/unpeeled, diced small
• ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro + few sprigs for garnish
• 30 g/ 4 Tbsp toasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
◊ Pick over lentils (preferably on a white surface) to discard any stray little stones/particles. Rinse them in a fine meshed strainer. Place them in a medium sized saucepan with 4 cups water. On high heat, bring to almost a boil. Watch so it will not foam and overflow. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 18 minutes or until just tender. Drain well, rinse briefly with hot water, drain well and place them in a medium-large bowl.
◊ While lentils are cooking, prepare the dressing… In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, ginger, honey, salt and pepper (makes almost 220 ml/1 cup). Stir very well and add 2/3 of the dressing to the the hot lentils, mix until well coated. Refrigerate uncovered to chill for at least 2+ hours. Also, refrigerate the other 1/3 of the dressing. Once lentils are chilled, mix again and cover if kept for longer in the refrigerator.
◊ When ready to serve… Dice the apple very small and coarsely chop cilantro leaves. To the chilled lentils, add pumpkin seed, apple, cilantro, remaining 1/3 of the dressing, mix, garnish with sprigs of cilantro and serve.
 I never thought that ginger roots could be frozen and used only needed amount.
Until… I read this post by → Persian Mama. Since then, I take out my piece of frozen ginger root, grate what I need and wrap the rest for the next time needed! Check it out, you will also learn how to make a healthy and great tasting Ginger Water!
 If an apple with red skin is used, there will be a red visual color accent added to the salad!
~ Bon Appétit! ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?