Warm Red Lentil, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad with Caraway Vinaigrette

Warm Lentil, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad with Caraway Vinaigrette on Foodie Underground

Let’s be brutally honest: the first week of the new year is always a little rough. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s dark, oh yeah, and it’s dark. Seriously, it takes a lot of strong coffee¬†to remind you that it is in fact morning out despite the pitch black seeping through your windows.

Then there’s the post-holiday blues that set in. You have no parties to look forward to, no cozy winter lights to keep your spirits up at night, and then there are those pesky resolutions you’ve been meaning to get to.

On the other hand, the new year does promise new begins. A fresh start. Brisk mornings for invigorating runs. Weekend afternoons meant to be spent with a mug of tea and a good book. A clean slate of 12 months in front of you. Just think of the possibilities.

When it comes to food, after all the holiday decadence, I find that I’m always craving something a little fresher and lighter. A salad! Oh but wait, it’s cold out, and my body is screaming for something warm and hearty.

And this of course is where the warm salad comes in.

I am a fan of warm salads because it essentially all they entail are cooking up whatever grains or legumes you have in the pantry, then throwing them in a bowl with whatever other ingredients are on hand. And voila, a healthy and solid meal has made its way onto your plate.

This one has the oh-so-glorious winter blood oranges. Fennel and caraway come together to give it a slightly nordic taste, and the lentils ensure you won’t go hungry half an hour later.

Here’s to keeping things bright and good spirited, and of course keeping ourselves well fed, in the early days of the new year!

Warm Lentil, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad with Caraway Vinaigrette on Foodie Underground

Warm Red Lentil, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad with Caraway Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Salad:

1 cup uncooked red lentils

1 bulb of fennel

2 blood oranges (or regular or oranges

Vinaigrette:

Juice of 1/2 an orange (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Preparation

To make the vinaigrette, add all ingredients together in a glass jar with a lid and shake. You can also whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

Rinse the lentils, then add the lentils and 3 cups water to a saucepan. Add in about one tablespoon olive oil and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until lentils are cooked, but still crunchy. Just keep testing them as you cook, you don’t want them to go mushy. When they are ready, remove from the stove and pour off the remaining water.

Thinly slice the fennel. Peel the oranges and slice them into rounds, and then each round into quarters. Place in a salad bowl and cover with vinaigrette. Add in the cooked lentils and mix together.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!

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