French Lentil and Kale Salad

July weather has arrived and with it summer cooking.  Now summer cooking means no cooking or baking on the stove or in the oven between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.  We have a single window unit AC for the whole house and it is not powerful enough to overcome the heat generated by the stove.  So for a few days in June, and August, and for most of July we end up eating salads.  Lots and lots of salads, with the occasional grilled meal thrown in.  Most salads contain a starch or grain cooked either early in the morning or after the kids have gone to bed, and then mixed into the salads after they have cooled.

In late January and February, when the days are still short and cold, and it seems like winter will never end, and summer never return, I look forward to summer cooking.  Because summer cooking is really all about the vegetables.  It is as fresh as it gets, with vegetables picked only hours or days before they end up on our plates.  It really is a good time of year for cooking!

Kale originates in the Mediterranean region and is a cultivar of the Brassica oleracea species, which among others includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.  While growing, kale leaves do not form a tight head (think cabbage and Brussel sprouts) and kale is thought to be more closely related to wild cabbage than some of the other cultivars in the Brassica oleracea species.  Kale is thought to be the first cultivar of the wild cabbage to have originated.  Kale originated sometime in the 5th century BC, following many generations of selective breeding of for ever larger leaves on the ancestral wild cabbage.  For a fascinating read on the history of the entire cabbage family, check out the University of Saskatchewan website.

kale

kale

kale stems veins

french lentil and kale salad

french lentil and kale salad

Print Recipe
French Lentil and Kale Salad
This salad makes a delicious and hardy meal on a hot summer night. Once the lentils are cooked and have cooled down, this salad can be made in 15 minutes. It keeps in the refrigerator for several days.
french lentil and kale salad
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 cups cooked French lentils *
  • ¼ cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese optional
  • 1 baguette sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 cups cooked French lentils *
  • ¼ cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese optional
  • 1 baguette sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled
french lentil and kale salad
Instructions
  1. Rinse the kale and pat dry.
  2. Remove the central vein of each kale leaf by grabbing the bottom of the leaf between thumb and pointer and pulling upwards towards the tip of the leaf. Discard veins.
  3. Stack the kale leafs neatly and slice very finely.
  4. Combine the kale, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and knead firmly for a minute or two.
  5. Add the scallions, lentils, olives and cheese, if using.
  6. Serve with grilled baguette slices.
*
  1. To cook lentils, add 1 cup lentils to 3 cups water or stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain excess water if necessary.


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