Monday, January 10, 2011
Black Beluga Lentil Salad with Fresh Peas and Radish:
1 cup black beluga lentils.
2 cups chicken stock.
1 cup fresh shelled peas slightly blanched in salted water 1-2 mins.
4-6 cherry belle radishes sliced very thin and blanched 1 min.
3 Tbs good finishing olive oil.
1-2 tbs fresh lemon juice.
freshly cracked black pepper.
serve over baby arugula or watercress.
Sort lentils and rinse well. Add to 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to boil. Turn down to simmer and cook until just tender 20 mins or so. Drain and reserve. Add blanched peas , radishes, olive oil and lemon juice. Stir gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over baby arugula or watercress.
A wonderful lentil salad I made for lunch the other day with some frozen fresh peas I had from earlier in the season and some beautiful Cherry Belle radishes I saw at Whole Foods.
Black Beluga lentils have a mild earthy flavor and hold their shape as well as their texture. Which makes them perfect for salads. I like to cook mine in chicken or vegetable stock which doesn't take away from their original flavor but seems to add a richness to the dish. These lentils glisten when they are cooked which makes them look like beluga caviar, thus the name. I also like to use them on bruschetta because they mimic caviar.
This is such a good example of how you can take something so simple as black lentils and really make them pop with surprise and delight simply by adding some beautiful colors and a simple dressing.
The peppery crunch of the radish and the sweet, barely cooked peas create a wonderful play on color and texture.
I served this over some baby arugula that I couldn't pass up at the market, some sliced toasted garlic baguette and a crisp white wine.