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Before today, it had been a long time since I’d eaten lentils. I’d forgotten how delicious they were, and, fortunately for me, this also happens to be the best batch of lentils I’ve ever made. The flavor is perfect, and they are just at that stage between crunchy and soft where lentils are simply heavenly. It is a truly beautiful thing.

Roasted carrots, too, are a beautiful thing. Roasted anything, actually. In my opinion, that’s the very best way to cook vegetables. It keeps all of the flavor and color locked inside, concentrating it until they’re sweet, soft, lightly browned, and absolutely spectacular.

And apparently, as I’ve learned today, roasted carrots and lentils are a perfect pair, particularly with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette that could genuinely be drunk straight from the jar. Not that I did that…

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Roasted Carrot & Lentil Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 C French green lentils, dry
  • 2 C water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into 6 pieces
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t ginger

Dressing:

  • 2 T minced shallot
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 3 T lime juice
  • small handful of cilantro
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 T olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Toss carrots in oil, cumin, ginger, and salt. Put on a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with foil and seal the edges. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil, then bake for 25 minutes or until nicely browned.
  2. Meanwhile, put lentils, water, bay leaves, and garlic in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until cooked but still slightly crisp.
  3. Make the vinaigrette. Mix shallot, mustard, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a small container. Whisk in olive oil (whisking quickly, pouring slowly).
  4. Mix (cooled) carrots, lentils, spinach, and dressing. Top with toasted pecans and serve immediately.

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