Last week I spent two entire evenings organizing my Pinterest boards. I know, that’s two evenings of my life I will never get back, two evenings I could’ve spent organizing my closet to try and get it to look like one on Pinterest. But once I started I couldn’t stop. Now instead of just one board where I pinned hundreds of recipes I have all these different dishes organized by category. The salad board had the most pins by far. What can I say, I love my salads. But not just any salad, I love salads with texture and color and spices and herbs, like this salad. The lentils are so good while being good for you and filling you up. The blue cheese is salty and the apricots are sweet. The pecans add crunch and the dressing with the curry and cinnamon is deliciously entertaining. Speaking of entertaining this is the perfect salad to bring to a party or picnic because it travels well and gets better as it sits in the dressing. It might just be my favorite salad.
Cook the lentils. Cut up the apricots and crumble the blue cheese. Make the dressing and mix it all up.
This is where all the flavors come together. This dish really is so easy and so good.
A perfect summer salad. It travels well on picnics too.
Ingredients for the Salad
1/2 cup lentils (I used black lentils)
3 to 4 apricots (or peaches)
2 big handfuls arugula
3 to 4 ounces of blue cheese (or feta)
1/2 cup of pecans
1 handful of flat leaf parsley
1 shallot (optional)
Ingredients for the Dressing
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil (or you favorite salad dressing oil)
5 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
salt and pepper generously
Cook lentils according to directions. For a salad like this I like the lentils al dente. While the lentils are cooking, slice the apricots and chop the pecans and parsley. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and blend. If you don’t have a blender you can finely mince the garlic and combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it up. Drain the cooked lentils then toss them with arugula and top with the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle the dressing on top.
If you don’t have apricots you can use peaches. If you don’t like blue cheese you can use feta. If you don’t have pecans you can use walnuts. This salad is so flexible with substitutions and always delicious no matter how you put it together.
Photography by Paige Alisa