My family and I had brunch at my sister’s yesterday–as you can probably tell from the pictures EVERYTHING she made was AMAZING! The savory menu consisted of a hearty wild rice casserole, a light avocado and lentil salad and some beautiful dinosaur kale. And my contribution to this feast was a gluten-free vanilla-vanilla cake that we served with fresh whip cream and strawberries.
What was really great about this vegetarian brunch was that it felt really balanced. It wasn’t potato heavy and it wasn’t super carb heavy. In my opinion it was JUST RIGHT!
My favorite dish was the Avocado Lentil salad she made from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com. If you haven’t been to this site you should really take a minute to check her out. Her photography is truly a feast for the eyes and her recipes are a great inspiration for classic Californian cuisine. Her blog is actually what inspired me to start blogging :)!
So that’s the recipe I want to share today…it’s great to make as part of a brunch, lunch or dinner. Best of all, it’s a very versatile dish that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. If you have time to cook the lentils that’s always best. They generally take about 15-20 minutes on the stove, but if you’re in a hurry it can also be made easily with pre-packed lentils from Trader Joe’s or your natural supermarket. Also, just to note, my sister didn’t have hazelnuts, so she substituted toasted almonds instead…and it tasted just as great!
Hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did!
I used lentils du Puy here, but any lentils that hold their shape will work – Umbrian lentils or black lentils would be good alternatives.
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups cooked lentils
1-2 ripe avocados, quartered
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/4 cup minced chives
Smash the oregano and salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle. Gradually work in the olive oil, and then the lemon juice.
Toss the lentils with 2 tablespoons of the oregano oil, taste, and season if needed. Arrange on a platter or in a bowl. Just before serving, cut the avocado into quarters, then slice quite thinly, and arrange on top of the lentils. Drizzle with a bit more of the oil, and sprinkle with the hazelnuts, and chives. A final drizzle of oil might be needed, and perhaps a bit more lemon juice. Enjoy!
Serves 4 | Prep time: 5 min
GLUTEN FREE: Totally!
YOGIC COOKING NOTES: To make sattvic, omit the chives.