So here's a curious trifecta for you: curry powder, capers and currants. All starting with the letter C and all singularly self composed. But the whole salty, sweet then spicy combo is addictively wonderful. It'd be like if you were dating a guy who played the sax (the caper), wrote haiku (the currants) and could peel through a mean cord of wood with a sharp axe (the curry). I am a big fan of strong components blending into harmony. I find it satisfying. Compelling, even.
Du puy lentils are uniquely beautiful. They are tiny morsels of a mysterious greeny-black hue. If you're making a soup or stew and the legumes are falling apart in appreciation, who cares what kind of beans you're using, but when it's a salad, and the lentils need to hold their heft in order to hoist the salad into greatness, please, by all means buy dry, and buy good quality. In this case, unlike so many others, smaller really is better!
Lentils are easy to cook. You put them in cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook until the beans are al dente or just beyond. About 15 minutes. Drain and shake off excess water.
I took huge spoonfuls of this salad and topped some shredded red leaf lettuce. It makes about 3 generous helpings.
1 large Ontario carrot, peeled and cut into very thin coins using the one blade on a box grater
1 Ontario green onion, minced, green bits and all
About a handful of heirloom organic miniature tomatoes, cut in half
A generous handful of both fresh dill and fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped finely
2 tbsp dried currants
1 tsp capers, rinsed
1 tbsp brown sesame seeds
**This version is vegan but by all means shake it up a bit. You could top it with grilled salmon or grilled halloumi cheese; add in crumbled feta or goat cheese; toss with a cooked grain like quinoa or couscous, both soak up curry dressings with gusto.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup (optional; the currants add a definite hint of sweet)
1 tsp hot or not dijon mustard
1 tsp of your favourite curry powder
Shake or whisk the dressing together in a small bowl with a fork. Pour over salad and continue tossing until fully absorbed. Season with coarse salt and pepper.