It has been a while. 'Nuff said.
Tonight for dinner I made a salad so full of virtuous super-foods that I really feel like I should charge up a mountain or something ridiculous. Sweet potatoes, beluga lentils, red quinoa, pumpkin seeds, pecans, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas all tied together with a spicy/sweet dressing to give it a kick. One of the best things I have put in my mouth in a while. I made a mountain of dirty dishes in the process and really can't think of any shortcuts in that regard but the making is simple if multi-stepped and well worth the dish washing. The recipe advises it will feed 6. I would add that would be six very hungry people who love quinoa and lentils and all the rest of the good stuff. But that is all to the good because it means left-over salad for a lunch or two. I served our salad over a bed of baby kale, chard, and spinach because I have decided if you don't eat leafy greens for breakfast, lunch, and dinner there is just no way you are going to eat enough of them in a day. Besides, it looks pretty and tastes better.
I found the recipe yesterday morning. One of my most beloved personal indulgences is reading - anytime really - but specifically reading a magazine while I eat breakfast. While I was thus indulging yesterday morning (and finally catching up on the important business of getting up to date with my publications) a very pretty salad caught my eye. Thinking that fresh pomegranate seeds would be as scarce as hen's teeth this time of year I didn't expect to experience the salad any time soon. Short story: I was wrong - but about as happy to be wrong as I have ever been. If you can be as lucky as I, make the salad with pomegranate seeds. If not, try blueberries. (That's my plan for next time - and I know that next time will come soon here.) The original recipe called for fresh mint but what little mint is managing to show its brave self in my garden is just to small to snip so I subbed some mint tea leaves I have in the pantry. Fresh would be better but the dried was good.
I probably won't be charging up a mountain tonight but I feel virtuous enough to justify eating something wild and crazy for a treat. Plus having a tube of Harissa paste in the fridge just makes you cool. That and beluga lentils.
morrocan super salad
(from Style at Home magazine, renamed and ever so slightly adapted)
honey harissa dressing:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp old-fashioned seedy Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp harissa paste
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 540-ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup beluga black lentils
1 cup red quinoa
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
1 tsp dried mint leaves (or 1/4 cup chopped, fresh mint)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toss 1/4 cup of the dressing with the diced sweet potatoes and spread the potatoes out on one of the baking sheets. Toss 2 Tbsp of the dressing with the chickpeas and spread those out on the second baking sheet. Put both sheets into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Fill a small pot with 4 cups of cold water and the beluga lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender - about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Fill another small pot with 4 cups of water and the red quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain and let dry in the sieve for a few minutes.
While all of this cooking is happening add the green onions, pumpkin seeds, pecans, mint leaves, and cranberries to a large bowl. When the sweet potatoes are done remove them and the chickpeas from the oven and add to the large bowl along with the cooked lentils and red quinoa. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, add the pomegranate seeds and toss to combine. Serve over leafy greens. Or don't.