This sprouted lentil salad with farro and raw vegetables is an easy, fast and surprisingly filling vegetarian weeknight dinner.
Earlier this week, Cameron was feeding Asher (our 9 month old) his dinner. It was one of those pureed baby food pouches (don’t judge) and it was a combination of something like chickpeas, kale, and millet. Cam read the label out loud and say something along the lines of “this sounds gross”. Then he gave a spoonful to the baby who, I kid you not, ate it greedily and promptly declared “yum!”. We laughed our butts off. That’s my baby boy.
This exchange perfectly mirrors Cameron’s response in similar situations. Clearly we are omnivores and we love our chicken and steak, so when I present him with a dinner like, say, this sprouted lentil salad with farro, I tend to get a lot of trash talk in return. But almost every time, he comes back with a “yum!” and I get validated. Why? Because vegetables are delicious. Throw in some sprouted lentils? Even better.
As I mentioned on Monday, salads are one of my favorite ways to use sprouted lentils. They make a terrific plant-based protein base for a simple recipe that comes together fast. And fast is essential when you have a busy schedule and a newly crawling nine month-old on your hands.
Sprouted Lentil Salad with Farro Recipe Notes
For a tossed salad, I like to slice the vegetables quite thin and in a uniform size. A mandolin makes this job fast and easy. Keeping the vegetables the same size ensures you get every flavor in every bite.
Use whatever raw vegetables you have on hand. My spring staples – cucumber, carrots, and radishes – were perfect.
I added a bit of sweetness to this recipe with some dried bing cherries. They are both tart and sweet, and do a good job of complimenting the slightly bitter bite of the sprouted lentils. If you don’t have dried cherries on hand, dried cranberries or raisins would be perfectly fine substitutes.
For me, the dressing makes or breaks a salad. I made this one with fresh mint, a little bit of whole grain mustard, champagne vinegar, and olive oil.
We had this for dinner and it was surprisingly filling thanks to the farro and lentils. To make this grain free and equally filling, add a cup of diced grilled chicken or flaked salmon. For my fellow cheese-lovers, this would be terrific with ricotta salata or blue cheese.
Spring Salad with Sprouted Lentils
- 1/2 c. farro
- 2 c. sprouted lentils
- 1 large carrot quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/2 english cucumber quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch radishes quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/3 c. dried cherries
- 4 c. arugula
- sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
Mint Champagne Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp mint minced
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/4 c. olive oil
Make the farro. Rinse the farro under cool running water. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and the rinsed farro. Cover and reduce to medium low heat. Cook until the water is absorbed and the farro is bite tender, 20-25 minutes.
While the farro is cooking, prep the remainder of your salad. Slice the carrots, cucumber, and radishes, and wash and dry the arugula.
Make the vinaigrette. Place the mint, mustard, champagne vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Once the farro is cooked, toss the cooked farro, sprouted lentils, chopped vegetables, cherries, and arugula in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss, and serve immediately.
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