Farmer’s market lentil salad with fresh cherries, sugar snap peas, and fresh oregano. A beautiful bounty of healthy local seasonal veggies and protein rich lentils. An easy to make, super delicious, vegan and gluten free summer salad.
Summer abundance is officially here, I am swimming in local fruits and veggies like it’s my job. Well, it sort of is my job and it’s a pretty awesome one.
When I picked up my most recent bounty from the CSA there were 3 big standouts, cherries, sugar snap peas, and radishes and I thought… Oh yeah!
I was all set up to build a gorgeous farmers market lentil salad. Vegan, gluten free, full of fresh veggies and vibrant sweet cherries. Lightly dressed with a tangy lime dressing and just a whisper of heat from crushed red pepper.
I just returned from a 5 day chill out break in Pennsylvania with my family. I barely opened my computer, and ignored mountains of work. I lounged on the front porch, drank wine on the back deck, wandered through the woods with little P, went for a swim, cooked a little bit, slept a lot, and prepared myself mentally for my upcoming and looming thesis. I brought along this farmers market lentil salad and would find myself opening the fridge and making myself a small bowl nearly every day. It was the perfect late afternoon snack (and went perfectly with a super cold glass of white wine 😘).
I am starting my last quarter of grad school next week. My last quarter! I can hardly believe it’s been 2 years already. I am a nervous wreck about writing my thesis and preparing for the comprehensive exam, and then there are the board exams. Yowzer, it’s a lot. Basically, the next few months are going to be all work all the time, and that’s totally ok.
Getting myself prepared mentally is the hardest part. The rest will work itself out. You can expect some simpler recipes on here for the next few months. I am obsessed with creating recipes that are perfectly balanced meals, take very little time to prepare, and are loaded with micronutrients and antioxidants. I will get through these months with the help of my favorite friend – real food.
This recipe is the perfect example. Organic, local, seasonal. Mostly plants (this one is actually all plants). Lentils are jam packed with protein and so incredibly simple to make. Boil these little babies just like you boil pasta, no need to measure the water like when you cook rice. The lentils are done when they are tender. I like to add aromatics to the lentil boil, fresh herbs, 1/2 an onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, and a generous spoonful of salt. This is your opportunity to flavor the lentils.
Once the lentils are cooked and cooled fill your bowl with the brightest veggies of the season. I loaded the bowl with radishes and radish tops. Yes, you can eat the tops of radishes. They taste similar to arugula and work perfectly chopped up with other veggies. I get so sad thinking of all the parts of veggies that get thrown away. Pickle your swiss chard stems, make carrot top pesto, make a fennel simple syrup, and without a doubt chop up your radish tops and add them to your salad.
You can of course sub just about any of the veggies in this salad for what you have around, but don’t leave those cherries out. As it turns out cherries and lentils are a beautiful pair.
Ok, I’m off to bed I have a big day tomorrow, I’m going to my 4th ever concert 😉 Idina Menzel! Woohoo – musical theater nerd alert (proud of it!).
Until next week my friend, I have a few special recipes up my sleeve for a big celebration. Stay tuned.
- 1 cup dry black beluga lentils
- 4 cups water
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup diced radish
- 1 cup chopped radish tops
- 1 cup diced sugar snap peas
- 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup sliced fresh cherries
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp honey
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- To cook the lentils: pick through the lentils and remove any debris or small stones (don't skip this step it could cost you a broken tooth). Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve under running water. Add lentils to a medium saucepan, cover with water and 1 sprig of fresh oregano. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and allow lentils to simmer for 25-35 minutes or until tender. Strain lentils and set aside to cool.
- In the meantime, combine radishes, radish tops, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cherries in a large bowl.
- To prepare the dressing whisk together lime juice, honey, olive oil, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
- Once the lentils have cooled, add them to the bowl with veggies, pour dressing over salad and stir well to combine. Add sliced avocado on top, sprinkle avocado with crushed red pepper and sprinkle fresh (or dried) oregano on top of entire salad. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if needed
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