Lentils with Avocado, Fried Hazelnuts, and Micro Greens

by msmaggiekerr


I’m not really sure what compelled me to finally start a food blog after just having given birth. I guess I somehow think I have a lot of free time. When my son was first born I was a zombie, barely managing to eat once a day when I could remember to feed myself. I subsisted on granola bars I had made & froze while pregnant for that very reason, and takeout. Lots and lots of takeout. After a few months I decided I had gotten into enough of a routine(ish) that I could attempt to cook again; It took me about 2 days to make a salad, literally. In my mind that was progress. This salad I’m about to share can be accomplished in about an hr or so (give or take how many infants are clamouring for your attention and whether or not you have to strap the kid into a front carrier to accomplish anything that day) and it will taste healthy yet indulgent.

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One of my biggest inspirations is Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks. Heidi is my cooking goddess actually, I bow down and kiss her kale. Her recipes remind me of San Francisco where she’s based, where I used to live. She has inspired me to make hearty salads using the wonderful produce she finds at the market. This is an adaptation of one of her creations. I changed the dressing a bit to make it more of a vinaigrette, and I fried the hazelnuts in oil instead of toasting them because I wanted the salad to taste a bit more indulgent. I think it would also taste good with some chive blossoms, although I had that epiphany after the fact.

A side note: micros greens are basically a rebranding of thinned out seedlings from the garden. If you don’t have a garden you can substitute sprouts, pea shoots, baby spinach, etc.

Adapted from 101cookbooks.com:

•a big handful of fresh oregano leaves
•5Tbsp good olive oil
•1tsp honey
•1tsp dijon mustard
•juice of 1 lemon
•salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Set aside.

•a few big handfuls of hazelnuts, chopped
Fry the hazelnuts in a couple of glugs of olive oil. When they get to a deep brown, drain on paper towels, salt liberally.

•1.5c uncooked green Lentils du Puy
Bring 2.5c salted water to a boil. Add lentils, turn the heat down all the way, simmer for about 20min or until al dente. Drain, cool to room temp.

•2 avocados, chopped
•1 bunch chives (or a big handful of chive blossoms), chopped
•a few big handfuls of well rinsed micro greens/sprouts/pea shoots/baby lettuce or spinach

Dress the lentils with the vinaigrette in a big serving bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients in and toss to combine. Enjoy! Serves about 4, although this recipe easily doubles (and makes great leftovers to take for lunch the next day).