Ever crave a nutty crunch with your salad but you can’t eat nuts? Give these candied lentils a try. They add a sweet crunch in this Tunisian-inspired recipe that pairs really well with the tart pomegranate seeds, briny feta and the spicy harissa vinaigrette. The salad is great on its own for a lighter meal (portable too!), but would also pair well along side some grilled fish and flatbread, with some pastries for dessert.
Start by making the candied lentils, which can be made ahead of time, and store in a dry area in a sealed container. If you are cooking the lentils yourself (as I did), allow time for cooking and cooling.
- 1/2 cup cooked black lentils
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
Line a cookie sheet with parchment and keep nearby. Using a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and water until mixed, then add lentils. Cook this mixture until all liquids have been absorbed, and the sugar has caramelized, this will take just a few minutes. Spread this mixture over the parchment paper and leave in a cool area until set and the candied lentils are crunchy. Break into small clusters, place in a sealed container until ready to use. This is what you are going for:
For the vinaigrette:
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa powder
- 2 tablespoons honey (I used a local honey, from Seaside Honey Farm)
- sea salt, to taste
When ready to serve the salad, assemble the following:
- 500 grams baby spinach
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- the candied lentils, as prepared above
Drizzle the harissa-honey vinaigrette over top, or pass along side the salad. If you are taking the salad to-go, keep the candied lentils in a separate container, as with the dressing. Assemble and toss when you’re ready to eat.
I had this for supper this evening, what are you eating ?