Spinach & Lentil Salad with Dates and Oranges

A hearty winter salad that can be served on its own as a light meal or as an accompaniment to a baked pasta or roasted chicken. If you’d like to make it vegan, simply swap the feta cheese for avocado. Cooking the lentils takes a little advanced planning, as they will require about 40 minutes on the stovetop and need to cool before adding to the salad, but all else goes quickly and the dish is easy to assemble. Both the salad and the dressing can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated separately. Toss together just before serving.

Spinach & Lentil Salad with Dates and Oranges

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
A hearty winter salad that can be served on its own as a light meal or as an accompaniment to a baked pasta or roasted chicken. If you'd like to make it vegan, simply swap the feta cheese for avocado. Cooking the lentils takes a little advanced planning, as they will require about 40 minutes on the stovetop and need to cool before adding to the salad, but all else goes quickly and the dish is easy to assemble. Both the salad and the dressing can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated separately. Toss together just before serving.
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Course Salad
Servings 6

Ingredients
 

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and dried
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 2 mandarin oranges, separated into segments
  • 3-4 dates, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup whole toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup crumbled Feta
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Cook the lentils in boiling, lightly salted water for 30-40 minutes until tender, then drain well and let cool. Arrange the remaining salad ingredients in a large serving bowl, including the cooled lentils. You can assemble the salad up to this point and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • For the salad dressing, grate the garlic using a fine rasp grater or microplane and place it in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and let sit for a few minutes, which will slightly “cook” the garlic, taking away some of its sharpness. Add the remaining ingredients, whisking in the olive oil at the end. Dress and serve the salad, adjusting for seasoning if it needs more salt.
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