February 21, 2010

Lentil and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Sorry that it's been a while, but I have a lot of catching up to do on what I've been making. First off, is one of my new favorite salads.

I'm always looking for a new way to enjoy salads, because truthfully I most often prefer vegetables in another form. I've found that I like lentils and onion on salads because they bring a lot of flavor and extra texture to the salad without packing on too much additional fat and calories. I tried this combo on a previous version but I'm still experimenting on what I like.

So what's been missing? The right dressing. I've recently discovered that I would prefer a homemade vinaigrette over a bottled dressing, any day. In particular, Ive been taking some white balsamic vinegar and whisking it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Making it myself allows me to get the right level of tangy sweetness without being overpowering. In particular, some of the low fat dressings seem to rely too much on sweeteners to compensate for flavor, and end up turning me off of the salad altogether.

So - here's what's in the salad I've been loving lately:

  • Arugula
  • Goat cheese (or feta)
  • Toasted pine nuts (or sliced almonds)
  • Sauteed red onion
  • Steamed lentils (precooked from Trader Joe's)
  • White balsamic dressing

The goat cheese here was a little melted from the onions and pine nuts, which I had just taken from their respective pans on the stove, but it was still good!

I've also added chicken occasionally to make it an entree salad. Ben really like this salad, too so we've recreated it several times. I've tried using a regular spring mix of greens or spinach but looking back I think it was best with the arugula.

Please share any other salad recipes you have; I'm always looking for more!