Red Lentil & Tart-Apple Salad (masoor dal)

You gotta be quick! Red lentils are little guys that cook fast. But the good news is, you can make this protein-packed, colorful, and fresh salad in under 30 minutes.

Note: Make sure you have a fine mesh strainer in your arsenal – a big old pasta colander won’t work here.

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 10 Minutes

2 cups water

¾ cup red lentils

2 stalks celery

1 tart apple (Granny Smith work well)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

4 green onions

1 red bell pepper

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¼ tsp coarse salt

Cayenne pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a couple shakes of cayenne pepper, stir and set aside.

Wash and trim the green onions and cut into fine rings, including some tender green parts. Cut the apple into slices and then into strips. Cut the red pepper into similar sized strips as the apple and thinly slice the celery stalks. Toss all the veggies in a large bowl with the lemon juice.

In a medium sauce pan, stir together the red lentils and water and bring to a gradual boil on medium to medium high heat. Don’t go anywhere because this won’t take long…. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Test a few – they should still be a little firm (the color will be a little darker at the center) – stir again and stand over the slowly simmering pot. In about 2 minutes, stir and test again…they should be done. Remove from heat immediately and drain well into a fine strainer. Run some cold water around the sides of the strainer, but not directly over the lentils, then toss gently, and repeat the cold water around the side thing and the toss again to release any excess water.

Transfer the lentils to the bowl with the veggies and fold together gently first, then add the dressing you made earlier. Toss gently again to mix. Let it hang out for a while to rest, toss again, and serve.

Tip 1: I prefer to remove some of the Granny Smith apple skin, but not all. Wash them well too…they can be waxy.

Tip 2: Toast some chopped walnuts or pine nuts and sprinkle on top!

Enjoy!

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