Lentil and Cabbage Salad

I just finished the leftovers from this dish I made on Sunday. It’s twisted enough from the original that I’m claiming it as an original recipe in its own right. It’s pretty low fat, high on protein, and great for using up the remains of a big head of savoy cabbage.

Lentil and Cabbage Salad:

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1 entire small or 1/2 large cabbage head, shredded.
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) of lentils
  • 1/2 onion, sliced very thinly – use a mandolin if possible
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced finely
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (15g) ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste (and it could be a lot)

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (25 ml) dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (15ml) grated lemon zest
  • 4-5 tablespoons (60-75 ml) red wine vinegar
  • up to 5 more tablespoons (75ml) olive oil
  • 1 more clove minced garlic
  • pepper to taste

Instruction :

  1. Wash and pick over the lentils, discarding any stones or discolored lentils. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water by two inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. If you want more flavor, use stock instead of water to cover lentils.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine mustard and red wine vinegar with a whisk. Grate 1/2-1 teaspoon (7-15g) of lemon zest into the dressing. Drizzle olive oil into dressing slowly while whisking to create an emulsion.
  3. Taste dressing when you’ve got most of the oil in. Add minced garlic, and grind in pepper if desired. If too oily, whisk in more red wine vinegar, if too vinegary, whisk in a little drizzled olive oil.
  4. When lentils are soft, but before they get mushy, remove the pot from the stove and drain. Toss lentils in a big bowl with most of the dressing. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Stir the lentils and dressing every ten minutes or so to ensure proper distribution of the dressing.
  5. Next, In a large skillet, sautee onion and garlic in two tablespoons olive oil until soft. “Hula-hoop” the onions (put the corner of your spatula in the center of an onion slice and make rapid tiny circles) so rings separately.
  6. Once onions are softened a bit, add cumin, stir, add cabbage, fold together. Cook over medium heat until cabbage wilts.
  7. Toss cabbage mix together with lentil/dressing mix. Add rest of dressing and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. There’s a lot of unseasoned vegetable matter there, so you may have to be heavy-handed on the pepper and/or the salt.
  8. Serve at room temperature or cold.
  9. The raw garlic in the dressing adds a contrast to the mellow browned garlic from the onion/cabbage mix. The lentils just soak up the dressing. When you’re done you should have a salad that’s dressed well, but not drowned.