Monday, February 29, 2016

Lentil and arugula salad with roasted red pepper and artichokes

French green lentils are the perfect lentil for salads due to its wonderful quality of holding its shape. I combine them with meaty roasted artichoke hearts, sweet roasted red peppers, peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese for the perfect main course salad.


Lentil and arugula salad with roasted red pepper and artichokes

1/2 cup French green lentils
1 large red bell pepper
2 cups packed baby arugula
8 oz frozen artichoke hearts
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground  black pepper
4 oz goat cheese

Dressing
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the red bell pepper on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the middle rack turning once in between till the pepper is blistered all over. Remove from the oven and keep the pepper in a brown paper bag or in a bowl covered with foil. This will allow the pepper to sweat and make it easy to remove the skin. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, discard the seeds and the pith and cut the pepper into thin strips. 
  2. While the pepper is cooling, toss the frozen artichoke with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Drizzle olive oil and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 F oven for 20 to 30 minutes till the artichokes have a golden brown color.
  3. In the meantime, rinse the lentils and put them in a saucepan with plenty of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender; be careful not to overcook them. If there is any water left, drain the lentils.
  4. Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing and taste for seasoning.
  5. To assemble the salad, place the lentils, roasted peppers, and roasted artichokes in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the arugula pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat evenly. Gently fold in the pieces of goat cheese.
Serves 3 to 4