Lentil’s are not something I make very often. I like them just fine, but although I know they are nutrient dense and cheap, I just don’t find myself drawn to them very often. In the past I have sprouted lentils for salads, I have simmered them for soups, and then there is my favorite rice pilaf recipe, where the lentils are crisped to perfection. This recipe really emphasizes the earthy, organic flavors that mother nature has to offer. Lentils paired with wild, local mushrooms create a symphony of musky, rich, umami flavors that are perfect for any season.
Lentils are really wholesome, they are a really great source of protein and fiber, and they are an amazing source of slow burning energy. Lentils are exceptionally high in folic acid which is known to be a critical nutrient for those who are pregnant. In addition to being a great source of slow burning carbohydrates, lentils can increase your energy by replenishing your iron stores. In short, lentils = great, great and great. Mushrooms, aren’t too shabby either. They are a great way to get vitamin D and boost your immunity. Certain varieties such as oyster mushrooms even provide iron, niacin and fiber.
This salad can be served warm or room temperature, or even cold. It can be chilled and tossed with greens and topped with a fried egg for a scrumptious, fast and healthy lunch. It can be paired with saute’ed chicken or a roasted tenderloin, or you could even toss it with pasta and some cream. It is especially yummy with some Parmesan cheese or goat cheese for an extra boost of flavor, protein and calcium. Use a variety of mushrooms for the tastiest result, oyster and shiitake mushrooms are much more nutritious than button mushrooms, and I really think portabella’s have a great flavor. A mixture of your favorites will work, try to use a mixture of as many varieties as you can find.
Lentil and Wild Mushroom Salad with Truffle & Herb Vinaigrette
- 1 Pound Mushrooms, trimmed into bite sized pieces
- Oil or Butter For Cooking
- 1/2 Cup Lentils (Brown)
Truffle & Herb Vinaigrette:
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Preferably unfiltered)
- 3-4 Tablespoons Shallot or Red Onion, Minced
- 1 Garlic Clove, Minced (or 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Tarragon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Marjoram
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Thyme
- 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Dill Pollen (or Dill Weed)
- Black Truffle Oil , Celtic Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper To Taste
- Boil lentils in water until tender. Drain and set aside.
- In a large heavy bottomed skillet melt a tablespoon or so of oil or butter and fry your mushrooms, just until they are tender. For perfectly browned mushrooms do this in two or three batches. (If the mushrooms are touching too much they will get soggy)
- Combine mushrooms and lentils in a medium sized serving bowl.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until thoroughly combined.
- Drizzle dressing over top of the lentils and mushrooms.
- Garnish with minced fresh parsley and herbs if available.