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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Warm Lentil,spinach Salad with goat cheese



We really enjoyed this very different salad. I love it because of the nice combo of flavors provided by cumin, mint, lemon, goat cheese etc. We added some little Japanese eggplant to ours--any eggplant would be good, but if you don't like eggplant you can do without it. I found this on Recipe Zar but I made some changes. You make a kind of sauce with the goat cheese. The goat cheese I used had garlic and herbs in it.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (I just used some spritz of oil)2 teaspoons cumin seeds (used ground cumin)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (1 tsp minced garlic) (I used 2 tsp)
2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
1 1/2 cups split red lentils (I used brown--can't get red locally)
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (I omitted--hubby doesn't like)
2 red onions, thinly sliced (I used regular onions--either would be good).
Eggplant and bell pepper if desired.
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon hazelnut oil (I didn't have)100 g soft fresh goat cheese
4 tablespoons plain yogurt, strained ( I just used some Almond milk and got it to a nice consistency)


GARNISHES
pepper
1 lemon, cut in quarters
toasted rye bread
Directions
1
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
2
Stir in the lentils and vegetable stock. Let cook, covered (but with venting for the steam), for 20 minutes on medium-high heat.
3
After 20 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the mint and cilantro.
4
In a frying pan (or skillet), heat the other tablespoon of olive oil (I use only spritz in iron skillet)over medium heat, add the onions, and cook for about 10 minutes or until softly translucent and browned. (I added some eggplant and green pepper to this after I had cooked the onions a bit I then added the eggplant and pepper and continued to brown it all)
5
Toss the spinach in the hazelnut oil in a bowl, then divide between 4 serving plates.
6
Mash the goat (or feta) cheese with the yogurt(or some almond milk) in a small bowl and season to taste with pepper.
7
Divide the lentils between the serving plates and top with the onions and cheese mixture. Garnish with lemon quarters and serve with toasted rye bread, pitas, or melba toast. or gluten free toast.

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