Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
I’ve never been much of a fan for lentils and I’m guessing it’s because typically I’ve had them in soup that tastes marginal at best. However, while at the IACP conference 2 weeks ago we were served as one of our side dishes, Canadian Lentils. I literally couldn’t stop eating them. In fact I made them my meal.
I was totally stunned that for so many years I avoided eating lentils. Now I couldn’t get enough of them. So upon returning home the first thing I did was go out and purchase some.
Last night I made this Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. It was outstanding! My daughter stopped by for dinner and the two of us devoured them. My husband wouldn’t touch them claiming he hated lentils. I told him I had as well until I tried them in a salad – he wouldn’t hear of it. I’m hopeful that I’ll see him sneak a forkful from what’s leftover later today and be pleasantly surprised.
Unlike beans, lentils do not require any pre-soaking – just rinse and pop them in water.
For every cup of whole lentils, add 2½ cups of unsalted water. This will yield 2½ cups of cooked lentils. It’s important to use unsalted water, since salt hardens and toughens lentils.
Split lentils generally require less water and take less time to cook. For every cup of split lentils, add 2 cups of unsalted water. This will yield 2 cups of cooked lentils.
In addition to being so tasty did you know Lentils are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories? They are naturally gluten-free, and have a low glycemic index. Plus their resistant starch content makes them suitable for a diabetic diet. Even better, since they’re high in protein, it makes them stellar for those with an active lifestyle.
Lentils are an ideal choice all around since they’re also high in folate, potassium, fiber, iron, and manganese. With all this and being naturally low in sodium, they are heart smart too!
I hope you try the recipe below, but don’t stop there. Start replacing lentils in other dishes that you prepare that might call for rice or other grains. In fact, lentils can be used in appetizers, salads, entrees, soups, beverages and even desserts.
With my leftover lentil salad from last night and salmon the night before, I’m going to make a hearty wrap for lunch today. I can’t wait! Of course you could add any additional protein to this salad to make it a heartier dish or entree’.
What’s your favorite way to eat lentils?
Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing |
- 4 whole cobs of corn, (approx. 3½ cups corn kernels)
- 1/2 cup dry black caviar lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup (1 medium size) red bell pepper, diced
- 2 Tbsp green onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp jalapeño pepper, minced
- 4 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp lime zest
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, choppped
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
- Preheat your grill to 400°F (200°C).
- Place rinsed lentils in 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Immediately turn heat down to a simmer and place lid on pot leaving a slight opening for venting. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Lentils should have a slight bite to them - not too soft. Place over strainer to remove any excess liquid. Allow to cool.
- To prepare corn, rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set on grate and cook over medium heat with BBQ lid down for 15-20 minutes turning every 4 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut off kernels. Toss kernels with lentils, peppers, and onion.
- In a small bowl whisk jalapeno pepper, lime juice and zest, cilantro, canola oil, salt and pepper together and toss with corn and lentil mixtures.
- Serve warm or cold.
- I used black caviar lentils but green or red lentils would work as well.
- It's best to use whole lentils for salads rather than the split lentils. The latter or best for pureeing.