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Sweet pea, black lentil and hearts of palm salad

Riffing off an old recipe and changing it up is one of my favorite things to do. Here I change a simple black lentil and sweet pea salad with basil and feta into one with cilantro, hearts of palm and complex Asian flavors.

You’ve probably figured this out by now, but I’m a riffer. A certain dish gets stuck in my head, and I riff off a recipe inspired by it. In this case, I’ve riffed off one of my own recipes (I tend to do that a lot, actually) — black lentil and sweet pea salad.

Keith and I had been thinking about this one recently, and he was dying to have it for dinner tonight. My fresh basil was scanty and left a lot to be desired so I decided to change this recipe up a bit. It turned out that I changed it quite a lot, so much so that it deserves its own recipe. I shall call it “Sweet Pea, Black Lentil and Hearts of Palm Salad,” but only because George was already taken. Yes, I’ve been cooped up with a sick kid all week … I’m getting a little punchy!

Sweet Pea, Black Lentil and Hearts of Palm Salad

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  • 2 cups sweet peas (I used frozen)
  • 8 ounces black baluga lentils (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hearts of palm, sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • a dash or two of garlic powder

Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with all the rest. Could it really be so easy?

I was thinking some sliced or slivered almonds would taste wonderful on this salad, which could also be served warm as a side dish. You could probably throw in some scallions for that onion-y bite or some Chinese noodles for a bit of crunch. You could probably do a lot of things I haven’t thought of too. Whatever you decide, we’ve already decided that in our house, this one’s a keeper.

Photo Credit: Debbie McDuffee

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