Cook's Hideout: Cooking from my Cook books - Lentil and Spinach Salad

September 15, 2006

Cooking from my Cook books - Lentil and Spinach Salad

I like buying cookbooks and I have quite a collection of books now. I just love looking through the colorful pictures and reading the new recipes for the first few days and then due to lack of time and ingredients my books sit there collecting dust. So I have decided to start cooking from the books at least once a week and this is the first dish that I made for my “Cooking from my Cookbooks” series.

Sometimes when you read a recipe, you know for sure that it’s not going to taste as it sounds and sometimes you are dead sure that you are going to absolutely love it. But I have had some of my predictions backfire on me. There was this cookies recipe with rice flour, apricots (I don’t want to even remember the other stuff I put in them) and the final result was like eating orange flavored sand. I was lucky that my husband was out of town and I conveniently tossed them away without anyone noticing. (If my husband was there, I would have had a lecture on what to make and how to eat that stuff). So in this series, I’m going to let you know about my hits and misses and how my husband reacted as well.

This recipe is from "Vegetarian", edited by Valerie Ferguson, was very delicious and a huge HIT. My husband loved it. This is my first time using "Puy lentils". Puy lentils are have a very nutty taste and they retain their texture after cooking for about 30 minutes.
Puy lentils – 1 cup
Onion – 1 medium, thinly sliced
Young spinach leaves – 14 oz. bag
Bay leaf – 1
Celery Stalk – 1, chopped fine
Thyme – 1 sprig or 1tsp dried
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp, roasted and ground

Extra virgin Olive oil – 3tbsp
Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
Red wine vinegar – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 1small, chopped fine
Lemon zest – ½ tsp

  • Make a bundle with bay leaf, thyme and celery. Cover the lentils with water, add the spice bundle and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium flame for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are completely cooked.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your dressing by whisking olive oil and mustard together. Stream in the vinegar. Add chopped garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, mix well and keep aside.
  • After the lentils are cooked, drain completely and add most of the dressing. Keep aside and stir occasionally.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, sauté onions for 4-5 minutes until they soften. Add cumin powder and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add spinach, cover cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and cook till the spinach wilts.
  • Add the spinach mixture to the lentils and let it come to room temperature.
  • Add the remaining dressing and chopped parsley/ coriander, mix well. Adjust the seasoning and add more vinegar if needed.
We had our healthy, delicious salad with cheesy-garlicky buttermilk biscuits (I added Garlic Jack cheese to Pillsbury ready to make biscuits).

I want to send this to Anthony for this week's Curry Mela.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please DO NOT make this salad from Packaged Spinach until the E.Coli bacteria scare is completely over. I didnt know about the scare until after we had the salad. My husband and I are doing fine with no signs of bacterial infection. But don't try this at home until it is SAFE.


  1. Hi Pavani, thanks for a healthy, nutritious salad, always welcome. Hey! you have missed my mango cobbler and many more, take a look, girl!! Thanks :D :D

  2. Thats a nice dish Pavani. Thanks for sharing.


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