Friday, 15 July 2016

Lentil Salad with Peas & Purslane

Lots of purslane still in the garden. Here it is in a salad with lentils and peas.

When I thinned the beets for greens the other day, there were enough with baby beets attached that I saved them and cooked them for a garnish to this salad. They are not strictly necessary, though. These are grown from seed saved from letting 3 or 4 varieties of beets flower and cross. We got about 10 years worth of seed from them, and they produce variably coloured and sized beets, but often quite large. 

4 to 6 servings
20 minutes prep time, not including cooking the lentils or beets

Cook the Lentils, Beets, & Peas:
1 cup green or brown lentils
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 12 baby beets (optional)
1 cup shelled peas

Put the lentils, water, and salt into a rice cooker and let 'em cook. Remove and let cool. This can be done up to a day ahead.

If you want some baby beets, they should be washed, stems trimmed, and boiled for 30 minutes. Let them cool; again, can be done a day ahead.

The peas should be shelled and boiled for 2 to 3 minutes then chilled in cold water. This should be done just before making the salad. 

Make the Salad:
1 cup chopped purslane leaves and stems
1 small sweet onion, with greens
1 small green, red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper
(1/4 pepper if using a bell pepper)
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint or dill
3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil
the juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash the purslane and pick the leaves from the stems. Chop the tender parts of the stems, and put the prepared purslane into a salad bowl with the cold cooked lentils and peas.

Peel and finely chop the onion and pepper. You may not wish to use all of the onion greens, and you may wish to salt and drain the onion bulb parts and the pepper bits for a 10 minutes or so while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Mince the mint or dill and add it to the bowl with the oil, lemon  juice, salt and pepper, and whatever portion of the onion greens you wish to use. Rinse and drain well the onion and pepper, and add them to the salad as well. Toss and serve, garnished with the peeled baby beets if you like.


MMeadows said...

This looks great! Could be it's own meal?
I don't know whether I'd like it? Can you describe the taste?

Ferdzy said...

Yes, this is a pretty substantial salad - you could eat it by itself or without adding to many other things to the meal.

The predominant flavour is the cold lentils, so the big question is how do you feel about cold lentils, or bean salads in general? The purslane, I have to admit, mostly adds a mild crunchy texture to it. The flavour is not unlike lettuce but right now it's a lot better than my lettuce which has all gone bitter in the heat and dryness. The next most noticeable flavours are probably the lemon juice and the (green) pepper. On the whole I'd say it's salady, with lentils.

As for if you would like it... there's only one way to find out! Maybe make half a recipe just in case.

Ferdzy said...

Too, dammit. Too many other things.

BC said...

The purslane in my garden has gone absolutely crazy. This wonderful blog and a wonderful resource.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks BC, and good luck with your purslane! It does draw minerals up from the deep so the excess is a good plant in the compost... once you get it there.