Monday, 26 May 2014

Baby Beluga

I tried caviar once, but it wasn't for me. The texture was too weird and each mouthful was too salty for me to enjoy it. I'm just not that fancy a girl.

But when I heard about beluga lentils, I knew I'd love them. I love everything about lentils and a special lentil with a name that attributed to caviar? I am completely on board with that. It took me awhile to find beluga lentils (I found them at Bulk Barn, which really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows me), and I discovered I do love them. 

So for May's new ingredient of the month, here's a new recipe starring beluga lentils - Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato and Beluga Lentil Salad. 

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato and Beluga Lentil Salad - serves 4

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and evenly diced
3 tablespoons of maple syrup, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 cups of beluga lentils, measured raw (any lentil will do though)
4 cups of baby kale or spinach
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup of hazelnuts, toasted
Salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Slice the top 1/4 inch off the head of garlic, fill it with 1-2 teaspoons of the oil, and wrap it in foil. Bake until soft and delicious, about 45 minutes.

3. Toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the red pepper flakes. Lay them in an even layer on the baking sheet and season with salt. Bake until they are soft, about 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the chunks. Flip halfway through.

4. Cook the lentils in a pot with 3 cups of well salted water at a simmer. The lentils should take about 25-35 minutes to cook through.

5. When the garlic is fully cooked, peel each clove and then toss with the lentils, the sweet potatoes, and the greens. Whisk the vinegar with remaining oil and maple syrup and pour over the salad. Toss and scoop on plates. Top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts and enjoy!

And if you're interested in my new ingredient of the month recipes from January to April, check out my post from April. In it are links to recipes starring ingredients like puffed quinoa and goji berries, chia seeds, amaranth seeds, and raw cashews. 

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