Best Lentil Salad, Ever -- Spring

My good friend Mira introduced me to this dish, and with it the Du Puy Lentil.  It is a French lentil that has been grown in volcanic soil so it is rich in minerals.  It is also more durable than the typical red/green/brown lentil so it stands up well in this salad.  The dressing contains an amazing combination of warming and healing spices.  I am always looking for ways to add things like turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon into my patients’ diets.  I have often made this with the additional arugula and goat cheese and it is delicious.  This salad improves the day after when the flavours have been mingling!  Enjoy...

2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
⅓ cup capers

Vinaigrette:
⅓ cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. strong mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins:
Arugula
Walnuts
Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Sprouts
Crispy seasonal veggies

Rinse lentils well and drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!

While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing.

Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.

Taken from mynewroots.blogspot.com