Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smoked Lentil Salad

I like lentils in anything;  in soups, mixed with rice, in grain salads, on top of green salads, even just by themselves with a lemony vinaigrette drizzled over them.  Now I have another way to eat them: Smoked. 
The next time you're doing ribs or chicken in the smoker, you have to try this.  This only takes ten minutes of smoking time, but you won't believe how much flavor that adds to the lentils.  The Sriracha Miso Mayo dressing complements the smokey lentils perfectly. 
I found this recipe on Food52. 
Smoked Lentil Salad with Sriracha Miso Mayonnaise
This recipe serves 6

1/2 pound green lentils
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
In a large bowl mix the lentils, cumin, onion and garlic powders;  then add enough boiling water to cover the lentils and soak, covered for 20 minutes.
For the Sriracha Miso Mayonnaise thoroughly mix:
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/4 C white miso paste
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
Cover and refrigerate.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 TB garlic, minced
1 cup yellow onion, medium diced
3 celery stalks, medium diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.  When the oil begins to shimmer, lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and saut√© for 30 seconds.  Add the onion, celery and kosher salt, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the carrots and the drained lentils.  Add the vegetable broth, adjust the heat to high and bring to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes, until the lentils are just tender and most of the water is absorbed.  At this point you can spread half the lentils on each of two rimmed sheets to come to room temperature.  I just leave them in the pan to cool.
Smoke half of the lentils for 10-15 minutes.  I make a small foil tray with sides and fill with half of the lentil mixture, which turns a light pink when smoked.  Allow the lentils to come to room temperature, then combine  with the reserved lentils.  Gently add the mayonnaise and refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.
After being chilled, the original recipe has you add:
1 C small diced cucumber
1 C small diced tomatoes
1/2 C small diced sweet onions
a few grinds of black pepper
I've made this several times and have always stopped after adding the mayonnaise.  I think it's delicious at that point.  We've used it as a dip with pita chips, and even pureed half of it in the food processor for a more creamy dip.  This is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.



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