Watercress and Lentil Salad with Citrus Dressing

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Hi guys! The sun is shining, there are no clouds to be seen, and it’s 18 degrees today! I’m making this a quick post so I can go out and soak up some sun and walk around in my ballerinas.

This substantial salad I just made for lunch can be served either on its own or as a starter. Watercress is rich in in vitamin C, K, and other nutrients, and its peppery taste makes a great food to awaken our sleepy bodies from winter and revive the taste buds. The citrus dressing gives zesty and sweet contrast to watercress and lentils. Go! Make this salad! xo-A.

Watercress and Lentil Salad with Citrus Dressing

*Note: If you live in an area where watercress is hard to come by, then substitute with rocket or other peppery leaves. For Leipzigers, I know it’s virtually impossible to get watercress here, but I finally found some at Macis Bioladen in the refrigerated section. Pricey, yes, but definitely worth it!

Slightly adapted from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry

Serves 2 hungry people as a main dish, or 4 as a starter

For the lentils,

1 cup beluga lentils, rinsed

2 1/2 cups water

3/4 tsp salt

For the dressing,

Juice of 1 pink grapefruit (about 120ml)

Juice of 1/2 orange (about 60ml)

Zest of 1/2 orange

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp maple syrup or honey

1/2 clove garlic, germ removed

80ml fruity olive oil

1 tsp salt

60g watercress

4-5 mint leaves, shredded

Slices of 1 avocado

1. First, cook the lentils. In a medium pan, combine the lentils, water, and salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 25-30 mins until the lentils are cooked but not mushy. It’s better for them to have a slight bite than to be falling apart, so check their doneness after 20 mins. When they are done, drain them well.

2. For the dressing, combine grapefruit juice, orange juice, and zest in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and turn the heat down to medium-high. Simmer for 5-10 mins, or until the juices are reduced by about half. Remove from the heat.

3. Combine the reduced juices, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and olive oil in an immersion blender. Blend for a minute or two until the dressing is well emulsified. Taste and check for balance of saltiness, sourness, and sweetness. One of these tastes should not dominate the other.

4. Toss the warm lentils with 3/4 of the dressing. Leave to cool on the counter for 30 mins- 1 hour. (this process will make the lentils soak up the dressing) When the lentils are no longer warm, toss gently with watercress and mint. Taste and see if the salad needs more dressing. Serve with slices of avocado.
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