Spring produce has officially arrived, and I am so excited.
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Last week, I featured rhubarb in a tasty baked oatmeal recipe. This week, a vibrant lentil salad green with watercress, asparagus and fiddlehead ferns. The base of this salad is made of al dente green lentils tossed in a verdant watercress dressing. Asparagus and fiddlehead ferns are then quickly blanched and tossed into the mix along with more watercress. The salad is finished with luscious burrata and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and black pepper. Each bite is so light and fresh. It’s spring made edible!
I’m actually partnering with Lentils.org on this recipe in celebration of their Spring Cleanse (more details below!). The green lentils in this recipe cook up in just 15 minutes, taking on a toothsome texture similar to al dente pasta. As soon as they’re drained from the hot water, they’re tossed with a vinaigrette infused with watercress, parsley and garlic, allowing them to easily absorb all those good flavors. The salad can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature! Continue reading of the recipe.
I like to keep a bag of lentils in my pantry, so I can easily whip up salads like these after a trip to the market. Although you can buy asparagus year-round, they are in season now around the US, so they’re going to be extra tasty. Fiddlehead ferns can only be found during the early spring months, so if you see them at the market, scoop them up! They’ve actually got a grassy flavor similar to asparagus, so if you can’t find them, just use more asparagus here.
Lentils.org is currently hosting a #SpringCleanse, including a $2,000 sweepstakes!!
In addition to providing a different texture to the salad, the lentils here add substance and nutrients. Green lentils are high in protein and fiber while being low in fat. When paired with a bounty of spring produce, you’ve got a simple salad that’s both healthy and delicious.
Spring Lentil Salad with Asparagus and Burrata
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
- 4 cups watercress, leaves and tender stems, divided
- 2/3 cup parsley leaves
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 4 ounces fiddlehead ferns, any tough ends trimmed (or just use more asparagus)
- 2 balls of burrata (you can also use shaved Parmesan here)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Place lentils in a medium saucepan filled 2/3‘s with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the lentils are just tender (about 15 minutes). Start checking for doneness around 13 to 14 minutes, because if you overcook the lentils, they will turn to mush.
While the lentils are cooking, add 2 cups watercress, parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, a few pinches of salt and several turns of black pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Drain the lentils, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss hot lentils with most of the watercress dressing (reserve a little bit for drizzling at the end). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in asparagus and fiddlehead ferns, and cook just until the asparagus are tender (2 to 3 minutes). Drain asparagus and ferns, then cut the spears into 2-inch long segments. Toss asparagus, ferns and remaining watercress with the dressed lentils.
To serve, divide lentil salad between 4 plates. Top each with 1/2 of a ball of burrata and a drizzle of remaining dressing. Finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and black pepper.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine.