Puy Lentil Salad

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Puy Lentils are a special type of lentil from a specific region on France. They’re found in finer health-food stores, or you can easily order them online (if you live in a place with mail-service, as I do NOT). If you live in Bocas Del Toro, Panama, as I do, and Puy Lentils are not available, instead of using regular lentils (which tend to get mushy) use the Chircano Desayuno beans)

I NEVER measure anything when I prepare food, I go intuitively by taste, over many decades of practice, so I’ll do my best to try to do measurements.

Rinse lentils, then Soak 1 pound of Puy Lentils in fresh water overnight.

Next day, rinse again, cover in 2 or 3 inches of water.

Add to the water/lentil mix:

One whole onion – not chopped, leave it whole

5 whole cloves of garlic

½ a Cup of Coconut oil (the only oil not to get rancid when heated)

just a pinch of Fennel Seeds (optional)

3 Bay Leaves

Simmer for about 25 minutes. Don’t allow them to get overcooked/mushy. They should be a bit al dente, as later on the they will soak up salad dressing.

Once the lentils are cooked, rinse them in cold water and dig out the whole onion, garlic cloves and bay leaves & discard. Rinse and drain lentils. Put lentils in a glass or Pyrex bowl with lid and chill in the fridge.

DRESSING:

(Measure to your own taste but here are my approximations)

½ Cup Organic Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Organic (with mother) apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s)

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup cold water

1 Tablespoon Tahini

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

pure hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste (optional)

salt & pepper to taste

Add the dressing to the lentils. Add to the mixture:

½ Cup chopped Spring Onions

2 cloves minced raw garlic

1 or 2 cups of halved raw cherry tomatoes

½ cup diced raw carrots

Add to the mixture, a sprinkle of dried fruit – I prefer dried cranberries, but golden raisins will do.

Add a sprinkle of walnuts or almonds, or a mix of whatever nuts you prefer. Hazelnuts would be nice but aren’t available where I live.

Mix well, and chill for at least 2 hours to let the flavors marinate and meld.

Serve over a bed of mixed organic greens and if you like, drizzle extra olive oil & organic vinegar on top. Garnish with Hemp Seeds and Chia Seeds (or ground flax seeds “Linzana” be substituted if you live in Bocas).

Voilà – you have a protein and fiber packed delicious, whole, vegan meal. Keep the lentils refrigerated and you have enough to last for days. Enjoy!