17 March 2012

Lentil Curry Potato Salad

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!  For those of you celebrating today, I thought I'd share a delicious--and "green"--dish for the occasion.  I just love lentils, and wanting a healthy and satisfying meal one day, I decided to try out a recipe developed by my friend Brien Seay.  Brien, formerly a cook at Chez Panisse and now a purveyor of high quality, all-natural herbs and spices, has come up with a gem of a recipe.  This delicious dish is just the thing for a simple supper (especially in this Lenten season) or for a twist on your ordinary side of potatoes for your St. Paddy's day feast.

Soft, curry-simmered lentils and chunks of potato are gently tossed with a red wine vinaigrette and finished off with fresh herbs. (I used cilantro here, but you could switch this out for Italian flat leaf parsley if you like.)  And it's not just the taste that has me coming back for more; full of health-boosting spices, fiber, and protein, this is a dish you can feel really good about eating!

For more of Brien's recipes and to browse his seasonings for sale, check out his website for The Culinary Collection.

Curry Lentil Salad with Potatoes
Adapted from The Culinary Collection

4 medium red skinned potatoes
1 1/2 cups green lentils
6 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. asafoetida
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Cook whole potatoes in water until done.  Cool thoroughly, then peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a large pot, whisk together 6 cups water, salt, curry powder, cumin, and asafoetida.  Bring to a boil, then add the lentils, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are done, about 30 minutes.  Drain lentils, reserving cooking liquid.

Transfer lentils to a large mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature (cooling first will prevent them from getting mushy when tossing the salad).  When cool, sprinkle with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro, add the cubed potatoes, and toss gently to combine.

Check seasoning and add more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, adding reserved cooking liquid as desired if salad appears too dry.  Serve at room temperature.

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