Salad of warm greens, french lentils and wild rice

warm kale salad

We’ve had a reprieve in the weather lately. In the afternoons you actually feel the warmth of the sunshine, and there’s a hopeful light that makes you forget we’ve got all of February to get through. And then you buy lettuce or tomatoes, and the iciness comes back to you. Luckily we’ve still got warm salads! This is a very substantial one – with flavorful french lentils and wild rice tossed in, and a handful of almonds thrown on at the end to add crunch. I made a sort of dressing with plum tomatoes briefly sauteed in olive oil and balsamic. This salad is a meal, and this meal is vegan. Cheese would make it taste even better, in my opinion – goat, or fresh mozzarella, or some grated sharp cheese. But then it wouldn’t be vegan, obviously! Anyway, it was quick to make, so I’m going to keep it quick now. (Yup, I’ve got to go to work!)

And here’s Big Daddy Kane with Warm it Up, Kane to sing to yourself while you warm up your kale.

1/2 a bunch of kale, stems removed
1 cup spinach
1 cup french lentils, prepared like this With plenty of sage, thyme, and rosemary. Peel 2 or 3 carrots and cut them in thick batons. Add them when you add the uncooked lentils.
1 cup wild rice (1/2 cup uncooked)
3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 t. basil
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic
salt and plenty of pepper.
1/3 cup slivered or flaked almonds, slightly crushed

Put a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale and cook for about 7 minutes, till it’s soft but still bright green. Strain and cool till you can handle it, then chop roughly. If you’re using baby spinach, you can leave it uncooked. If you’re using regular spinach, toss it in with the kale for the last minute of cooking.

Put the cooked greens in a bowl or on a plate. Toss in the lentils and rice.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper and basil. Cook till the garlic starts to brown. Add the tomatoes and the balsamic, and cook till the tomatoes get just a bit mushy. You can add a spoonful of water if you want it a bit thinner.

Spoon the tomatoes over the greens. Sprinkle the almonds on top, and any cheese you’d like to use.

Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Serve with a loaf of good crusty bread.


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