This dish is perfect for eating light in the days following all the Christmas feasting. It is inspired by our Lentil soup with spinach and red peppers. The rich, nutty legumes used in our soup are called Pardina Lentils. They are traditionally grown in Spain and although any lentil will work in this salad, we find the Pardina variety to be the most flavorful. To emulate the onion and garlic in our soup, we used a shallot vinaigrette for this salad.
You don’t need a grill to make roasted red peppers- they can easily be prepared in your broiler. Just trim the top, bottom, and membrane from the peppers, slice in half, then place them on a cookie sheet covered foil placing the skin sides up. Broil for 5-10 minutes until the skins are blackened and remove from oven to cool. The skins will slide off easily and your peppers are ready to use.
Spinach Salad with Lentils and Roasted Red Peppers
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 2 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips
Rinse the lentils then add them to a small pot, cover with water by a few inches and bring to a boil. Season with a pinch of salt, then turn down heat and simmer until tender but not overcooked, about 30 minutes, adding a bit of water to keep the lentils covered.
In the meantime, combine the shallot, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper, then the allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to soften the shallot. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking to create a vinaigrette.
When the lentils are cooked, drain and return to the pot. Toss immediately with the vinaigrette. Add the baby spinach and peppers just before plating, so the leaves only just begin to wilt. Enjoy!