A refreshing salad lingering between winter and the early signs of spring. Cooking the lentils in a pressure cooker makes this both a mouthwatering and speedy affair.
It is not a regular occurrence that I call an edible “sexy”. But in this case I simply lack a better word. It is a dark and sensual salad, scattered with the luscious and passionate pops of pomegranate seeds and the crunchy-yet-lascivious textures of kale. Drenched in the provocative zing of cilantro and served with delicately crisp fried salsify – this is pure food indecency.
Sometimes things like these make me wonder about humanity. What causes us to think something (or someone) is attractive? How are we individually drawn to such different aspects?
I remember years ago when I was still in high school – and had high ambitions about going to medical school despite living in fear of unpleasant sights – we went to a science museum.
Though it was more of a donated bodies in exhibition kind of thing. The special exhibit of the month was about attraction and how we, delicately put, mate. There was also a smelling station where one could define what scent one found attractive and which one didn’t. Because apparently we pick our
sidekick companion for life through the sense of smell.
This is entirely non-factual and based on anecdotes from the past I can vaguely recall, so take it with a grain of salt (or a few if you’re not concerned about high blood pressure). But we supposedly can smell if a potential mate would produce offspring with a solid chance of a healthy immune system.
So much for romance and love at first sight. It’s at first smell. By the way, I had a terrible cold-turning-into-the-flu when I first met Branimir. I might need to recheck this theory.
Then there is also a wealth of evolutionary psychology available. Things like human males like a certain waist-to-hip ratio in human females because this indicates promising childbearing, while the females in turn go for somebody with money, a solid career and broad shoulders (nourishment, security, safety).
A bit one-dimensional but nevertheless quite interesting.
But all quests about human attractiveness aside – I don’t really mind much what exactly is drawing me to this salad of alluring components. All I know is that I am in unconditional love with it, which might just reveal more about my “kinks” (as I lovingly call my irrational bouts of madness) than you ever needed to know. Now let’s go and eat some sexy, sexy salad.
For all my pressure cooking needs I trust my Kuhn Rikon 8-quart stainless steel pressure cooker. You can find it here on Amazon!*
Not just because it and me both are Swiss but because they are a true quality product I can bore you with without it being sponsored.
Okay, you got me, the little link is still an affiliate. One has to pay for one’s beluga lentils. #notsponsored #noad #negativesp #affiliate
Beluga Lentil Salad with Kale and Pomegranate Recipe
For the Salsify Chips
- 1 medium sized salsify peeled and cut into long strips with a vegetable peeler
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Kale
- 50 g kale large stems removed and leaves finely chopped
- 12 g olive oil 1 tablespoon
- 3 g white balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon
- A vacuum sealer and a vacuum bag or alternatively your hands and a bit of patience
For the Lentils
- 200 g Beluga lentils soaked in cold water for 2 hours
- 100 g yellow onion chopped, about 1 large
- 100 g shallots chopped, about 3-4 medium
- 50 g celery diced, about 2 medium stalks
- 20 g garlic sliced, about 6 cloves
- 20 g cilantro a big handful
- 2 g black peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon
- 0.2 g bay leaf about 1
- A cheesecloth or similar thin fabric
- 750 g non-sparkling high calcium mineral water, 3 cups
For the Dressing
- 15 g cilantro leaves plucked from the stems, a large handful
- 18 g white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons
- 10 g Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons
- 10 g creamy peanut butter 2 teaspoons
- 8 g sherry vinegar 2 1/2 teaspoons
- 5 g agave nectar 1 teaspoon
- 2 g pomegranate juice 1 teaspoon
- 24 g olive oil 2 tablespoons
- 0.5 g liquid soy lecithin optional
- 155 g pomegranate seeds 1 cup
To Make the Salsify Chips
- Heat the vegetable oil to 185°C (365°F). Fry the salsify strips until golden and crispy. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
To Make the Kale
- Put the kale, oil and vinegar into a vacuum bag and vacuum seal on high until the kale is tightly packed. Refrigerate.
- Alternatively add all ingredients to a bowl and massage for 5-10 minutes or until the kale has softened.
To Make the Lentils
- Drain the soaked lentils and add to an 8-quart pressure cooker.
- Put the onions, shallots, celery, garlic, cilantro, peppercorns and bay leaf onto the cheesecloth and tightly knot it together so that the aromatics cannot fall out. Add to the pressure cooker as well along with the mineral water.
- Cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar for 5 minutes (start timing when full pressure has been reached). Cool the cooker quickly by running tepid water over it. Discard the aromatics and drain the lentils. Refrigerate until cooled.
To Make the Dressing
- With an immersion blender, purée the cilantro, white balsamic vinegar, mustard, peanut butter, sherry vinegar, agave nectar and pomegranate juice together. Gradually blend in the olive oil and optional soy lecithin. Continue blending until slightly thick and creamy.
- Add the lentils to a large salad bowl along with the kale and pomegranate seeds. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Serve with the salsify chips.
- The salad keeps well in the fridge for a day.
Inspired by Teubner Vegetarisch.
* I make a commission for purchases made through these links.