I will choose a bean or lentil salad over a grain salad any day.
Make extra beans or lentils. Serve half with dinner and make the rest into a salad for the next few days. There are as many different dressings as there are salads. This one is different from the lemon based one I use here and received rave reviews from my meal trade partner and the two-year old I shared it with the next day.
To get ginger juice, grate a knob of unpeeled ginger on a microplane zester or ginger grater. Then, gather the pulp and squeeze to get the juice. I love using this method to add a little ginger right before serving dishes such as kinpira or creamy carrot soup.
Lentil and Corn Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing
1 cup french lentils, rinsed
postage stamp size piece of kombu
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 green onions, rinsed and sliced thin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp unpasteurized shoyu or gluten-free tamari
1/2 tsp ginger juice or 1 tsp peeled and finely grated ginger
1. Place lentils in a large pot with water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Let lentils boil for a few minutes and scrape any foam that rises to the top. Lower the heat, add kombu and cook until the lentils are just becoming soft. Remove from heat, strain and pour into a large baking dish to cool.
2. While lentils are cooking, sauté the onion in 2 tsp oil. When the onion has softened, add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add the corn and a small amount of water. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and corn is cooked.
3. Use a microplane grater to grate a 2 inch knob of fresh ginger. Gather the grated ginger together and squeeze the juice out into a small cup.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until emulsified. Add the sautéed onion, green onion and cilantro. Carefully stir in the lentils. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
This salad would be lovely with black beans in place of the lentils.
In the summer, when tomatoes are in season, add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes.