I’m admittedly immodest about my savant-like memory of the food items stocked in stores across town. Ask me about price, availability, sizes, freshness, superiority, inferiority…you name it, I can tell you. Just don’t ask me when Kevin is in the vicinity, as he’ll think you’re encouraging my obsessive-compulsive tendencies (why does he always have to be right!).
So I surprised myself for forgetting about red lentils.
But there they were, on a clearance shelf at Central Market, on a visit several weeks back. For 75 cents a package. I bough all five packages. I anticipated groans from Kevin (I have a bargain-hoarding propensity, too), but he picked up a package, scrutinized the label, and quipped, “Cool.” It turns out he lived off of lentils–green, black, red, and brown– when he lived in Paris (that was pre-Camilla, darn it). He’s generally pleased with anything that reminds him of his time there, even if it’s his wife amassing canned lentils.
On to the yummy recipe.
The recipe inspiration came from one of my other Central Market purchases: these gorgeous pomegranates (in season, and on sale!).
I also had avocados, so I decided to create a salad based on one of my favorite guacamole recipes, which is topped with pomegranate seeds.
I cooked the lentils (split red lentils cook quickly) until just tender, cooled them, then combined them with pomegranate seeds, avocado chunks, super-sweet little cherry tomatoes, and a simple lime-cumin dressing. This main dish salad came together in well under 30 minutes.
Head to the dried bean or international foods section of your supermarket and seek out split red lentils; it will inevitably lead to many quick, delicious, and very healthy meals!
- 1-1/3 cups red lentils
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 small haas avocoados, cut into small chunks
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved (quartered if large)
- ⅓ cup very thinly sliced red onion
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook just until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil and cumin in a large bowl; season with salt to taste. Drain the lentils and rinse under cold water until cool; transfer to bowl, tossing to combine with dressing.
- Add the remaining ingredients, gently tossing to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.