Lately, I've been loving to experiment with grains other than my staple, rice. My favorites are lentils and quinoa. I also really love farro, but it's actually pretty expensive, so I only cook it on occasion. I've been cooking tons of lentils lately, whether its in mujaddara or in soup, I seriously am in love with the stuff.
Anyways, this grain salad is pretty simple to make. Grain salads are my favorite things to make and to eat! They have a bunch of good stuff in them and they're perfect for school since they're so easy to transport. I think the most complicated thing about this meal is the sauce, but if you have a food processor, you can seriously whip it up in a snap - bonus - it's good on tons of other things!
If you're super lazy, Trader Joes, being the awesome place that it is, sells pre-cooked lentils in packages. They also sell pre-packaged beets that are pre-roasted, which would probably be amazing in this salad as well. Next time, I'll be adding some roasted mushrooms myself!
Yields: 6 - 8 servings
Adapted from here.
For the mint sauce:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 jalapeño (seeded or not - depending on how spicy you want it)
2 tbsn. olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tbsn. lemon juice
For the yogurt sauce:
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsn. water
freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
2 cups baby potatoes, sliced in half
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 dried dates, pitted and chopped
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Combine the potatoes and brussels sprouts on a large baking pan. Toss with enough olive oil to coat and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until golden brown on edges and potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the sauces. To make the mint sauce, combine everything in a food processor or blender and adjust the seasoning as necessary (more jalapeño, more salt…?); set aside. To make the yogurt sauce, combine everything; set aside.
Once the veggies are cooked, set aside to cool. Once cool, combine the veggies, dates and lentils and toss to combine. If you are eating this immediately, go ahead and toss in the toasted almonds but if you aren't, wait to add the almonds so that they don't get soggy. To serve, drizzle with both sauces. Enjoy!