I love the texture of this salad and the way the sweet coooked still warm lentils collide with the slightly bitter crunchy dazzle of sprouts. I know sprouts aren't for everyone and you could easily leave them out and add chopped nuts instead but for me they're the epitome of spring. They are as close to that organic earthy taste of the practically living as you can get unless you're willing to get down on all fours.
I'm excited to start sprouting my own mung beans but for now I picked up a package from sprouts for life that contains fenugreek, lentils, kamut and adzuki bean sprouts. Whereas with alfalfa sprouts you can pretty much use them wherever you might favour lettuce i.e. on a thinly sliced toasted piece of sunflower bread smeared with crunchy almond butter and topped with a handful of sprouts, these sprouted seeds are best added to salads.
Always go for the smallest darkest lentil you can find for salads. The large green ones are too hard to cook to that al dente point. The red ones fall apart and are perfect for soups, stews and dals. The brown ones are better than the green ones for salads but try to suss out the French du puy variety. My health food store in Roncesvalles carries a number of bulk lentils and I choose the tiny dark green ones. They require no soaking and very little patience. I put a cup into twice that much water and bring to a boil. At full boil I reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Some are just barely bursting out of their skin splaying open a bit but most are still firm and chewy. Cooked through but not soft.
A mix of nutty sprouts or chopped nuts
Some diced avocado
A few quartered grape tomatoes
Fresh dill chopped
A bit of chopped green onion
A tahini dressing is really good here but I stuck to a drizzle of serious extra virgin olive oil, a lot of cracked Himalayan pink salt and a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice.Tahini Dressing
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
Mash the minced garlic clove in a bowl with the salt. If you have a mortar and pestle, great, but if not use the back of a wooden spoon. Add the tahini and lemon juice and olive oil and combine. Thin with hot water until you have the consistency you prefer. A mini blender is perfect for these sorts of dressings.