I’m just not that into salad. There, I’ve said it.
As a full-blooded vegetarian, this is probably some kind of heretical point-of-view. But when you’ve made a lifestyle out of eating vegetables at every meal, people tend to approach you with a lot of preconceived notions and I can’t help it if sitting down to a bowl of salad is just not my idea of a good time. So it is. And while we’re at it, you should also probably know that I occasionally still buy leather, I don’t own a single item of clothing with hemp in it, and I couldn’t care less whether or not you eat steak in front of me. Whew. It feels good to get that off my chest.
That being said (and just to make things more confusing for everyone), I’m always trying to incorporate salads-that-aren’t-salads into my daily life. You know…the anything-but-a-bowl-of-lettuce kinds of salads: grain salads, bean salads, pasta salads – give me a plate of any of them, and I’ll be pretty content. So you can imagine my excitement when I received the June 2013 issue of Vegetarian Times in the mail and spied this Honey-Mustard Broccoli Salad with Beluga Lentils on it’s cover. Not only was this main dish salad front and center (which in and of itself is a rarity), but it was chock full of broccoli, which is one vegetable that my whole family can agree to love. To say that I couldn’t wait to try it is an understatement. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Honey-Mustard Broccoli Salad with Beluga Lentils
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
1 cup dried black beluga lentils
1 head broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1 shallot, sliced into rings
1/4 cup chopped salted almonds, toasted
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1. To make the salad, rinse the lentils. Place them in a medium stockpot with 3 cups of water with a large pinch of salt added in. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Add in the broccoli florets, cover the pot again, and steam for 2-3 minutes or until broccoli is al dente. Drain.
2. While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Transfer the broccoli and lentils to a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with the shallot rings and almonds.
*Black beluga lentils are available in many natural foods stores, including Whole Foods. If you can't find them, feel free to substitute in de puy or green lentils - pretty much any lentil that will hold it's shape.Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4 of the recipe
Calories per serving: 395
Fat per serving: 18g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.3g
Sugar per serving: 6g
Sodium per serving: 72mg
Fiber per serving: 18.4g
Protein per serving: 17.6g
Cholesterol per serving: 0mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 45.2g
Source: Vegetarian Times
I loved the flavors of this salad. While the broccoli and lentils are pretty plain on their own, the honey mustard dressing does a good job of adding some serious flavor to them, while the raw shallots and chopped almonds give great texture and a bit of salty crunch. My one qualm about this meal is that it just wasn’t filling enough for a main meal. As written, it only instructed you to use 1/2 cup dried lentils for 4 servings, which would yield an absurdly small serving size. I used 1 cup and still wasn’t really satisfied after eating. That being said, I think this would be a great, healthier alternative to the traditional broccoli salad as a side dish this summer, or, if served with bread or maybe a grain, would be a heartier main meal.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Given that during the summer everyone seems to be looking for lighter, healthier fare, I can definitely see why this was chosen as the cover recipe as it is all of those things, and, to be fair, it did lure a non-salad-lover into making it. However, upon flipping back through the issue, there are a few other recipes that I found much more exciting and inspiring, and I feel like one of these might have been more appropriate for the cover spotlight.