Lentil, apple, & avocado salad

I recently rediscovered my love of lentils. The husband is not as enthused, but did devour this salad the other night so I’ll take it. The basil dressing brings all of the ingredients together in a bright, fresh salad. Inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s lentils with burrata (so good!— link below), I took this in a slightly different direction by adding bite-sized diced apple and spicy arugula to bulk it up.

With spring coming, I’m trying to make some lighter dishes that are still filling, and adding protein-rich lentils to a salad is a great way to do just that. I’ve been making a pot of these green french lentils during the week to add to pastas, salads, and soups. I’ve made this salad with sautéed asparagus too, so feel free to swap or add ingredients that look best to you. This recipe will make extra dressing- save for use later in the week! It is great on salads or grilled vegetables.

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Lentil, apple, and avocado salad

Yield: 2 servings

Fresh basil dressing:
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
In a food processor, combine basil, mustard, and vinegar. Pulse to combine, then pour in olive oil and process to desired texture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Salad:
2 cups arugula or mixed greens
1 cup cooked french lentils
1 apple, diced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup basil dressing (recipe above)

Instructions:
Heat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add lentils and 1/4 cup of dressing and toss, cooking until just warmed. Stir in diced apple, and remove from heat.

Divide the greens between two plates. Add the warmed lentil mixture on top, then toss to combine. Add additional dressing to taste. Garnish with sliced avocado and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Extra dressing will keep refrigerated for a week.
Dressing and salad lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s burrata with lentils and basil vinaigrette.

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