One of the best things about salad is you can really try combining ingredients that you wouldn’t normally pair up, and it usually works wonderfully. There was a time when my husband did all the cooking in our home, having a restaurant background, he just kind of fit the role. He always came up with the best combinations of food, and I always asked, how did you think of that? His response is, he likes these two foods, so why not pair them up? Well, yesterday I had a perfectly ripe, juicy mango begging to be eaten, and I was really in the mood for a lentil salad. So I cooked up some french lentils and started thinking up some awesome flavour combinations for this salad. French lentils, also known as du Puy lentils, are really the best type of lentil to use in salads. Green, brown, and red lentils are perfect in soups because they are soft and tend to fall apart, while du Puy lentils work better in salads than in soups and stews because they hold their shape really well when cooked properly.
I find this salad very unique, with Indian flavours from the cumin and coriander, to Mexican flavours with the mango and lime. All in all, a refreshing summery salad, with a great sustenance from the lentils.
Have you ever combined lentils with fruit in your salad? What did you think?
I wanted to add something funny, this morning as I was getting dressed, I actually found a french lentil in my hair. It was a hippy moment, to say the least.
- 1/2 cup dry du Puy lentils (about 2 cups cooked)
- 1 mango, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves + more for garnish
- Put the lentils in a fine strainer and pick through them, discarding any bits of stone that may be present. Rinse under cold running water. Place in a pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils after 15-20 minutes, they should have slight tooth, you want them al dente. Remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly, combine the lentils with mango and onion in a large bowl.
- In a small jar or bowl, combine the olive oil, coriander, cumin, lime juice and cilantro leaves. Pour over the lentils, mango, and onion. Toss to combine. Garnish with some more cilantro leaves. Serve.