We have some beautiful red plums at the moment and coincidentally when I went shopping I spotted some whole red lentils. Usually I buy the split ones but I thought these looked good. So I took the lentils home and washed some and put them in water to soak overnight. After some thought I decided that I would try them as a salad. And being on a theme of red, why not include the plums. They have a nice fresh bite to them and create good contrast of colour and taste in the salad. The result is a delicious, economical and very healthy salad with plenty of flavour which could practically be a meal in itself.
This is how I do it.
Ingredients for the salad
1 small Cos lettuce
4 red plums
1 small cucumber
1 small onion
1 cup of prepared red lentils
Ingredients for the vinaigrette
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
pepper and salt to taste
Wash a 1/2 a cup of lentils well then soak for at least 24 hours.
They will expand in size and the colour will brighten from brown to a orangy red colour. They have a light taste like a delicate sprout. When ready to make the salad wash the lentils again. Pick out any lentils which have not expanded. They are not viable and will still be very hard.
See the lentils at the bottom. They are the non viable ones. Be sure to remove them.
Wash and drain the lettuce. I like to shred it to make it easier to handle on the plate. Put into salad bowl. Add the seeded and chopped cucumber. Wash and stone the plums and cut into thin wedges and put in the bowl with the finely sliced onions. Sprinkle the prepared lentils over the top.
Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. Add the dressing to the salad and serve.
For a complete light meal add some grilled or barbecued chicken pieces or some grilled haloumi for a totally vegetarian experience!