Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cold Lentil and Black Cherry Salad

This is the perfect summer side dish, cool and delicious. Consider using a specialty pepper blend in place of black peppercorns. I recently tried a variety from Trader Joes called "Flower Pepper" with Calendula, Rose and Lavender petals, which you grind right along with the peppercorns. It was flowery, of course, with a delicate complexity.

1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups fresh black cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup fresh basil

Rinse lentils and pick through for any foreign material. Cover with 5 cups water in medium size pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain and place in a serving bowl. Add scallions and cherries and toss gently to combine.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper then drizzle over the salad. Hand tear the basil and toss just before serving.

(adapted from a recipe on )

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