Potato & Lentil Salad
Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Recipe Keywords: potato and lentil salad, healthy potato salad, vegan
My Potato Lentil & Green Bean Salad Recipe Notes
I love this salad. Potatoes, lentils, asparagus, red onion, radish, and arugula are tossed with a bright maple Dijon dressing. I add in lots of fresh mint, dill, and garnish the salad with toasted pecans. This is just one variation, however. Sometimes I use green beans instead of asparagus, tarragon instead of dill. I made a variation once with apple and walnuts. Start with potatoes and lentils, and feel free to use your imagination. I really like the vinaigrette. A bit punchy from Dijon, bright with only a bit of sweetness.
How to serve & eat
This salad is undeniably best served after marinating in the fridge for several hours, but I'm not opposed to eating it straight away. If you are putting it in the fridge for later, it's nice when it isn't fridge cold. I like to let it sit out of the fridge for a bit before I eat it. It's also best to add nuts and to fold in greens or arugula right before serving.
Vegan Sausage & Bread Thoughts
If I had to pick something to go along with this potato and lentil salad, it would be grilled vegan sausages. The dressing is quite bright and punchy and having nibbles of something fattier brings balance. I'm a bit fan of onion jam or some other kind of sweet savory condiment. I think something like that would pair well with the sausage and salad too. Instead of eating the sausage on a bun, I like a good quality crusty bread, it's how they serve street sausages in Switzerland (which I ate many times before being vegan). Then if there is any vinaigrette left at the bottom of the bowl, you can soak it up with the bread, or just eat it with bites of sausage.
What Potatoes to use
Reach for a waxy potato when making potato salad. They have a lower sugar and starch content, and hold their shape better when boiled. Reserve fluffy russets and other starchy potatoes for mashing. I like using baby potatoes for this recipe. The thin skins are nice and you can easily boil them whole then cut them in halves or quarters before adding to the salad. Baby reds, fingerlings, or new potatoes would all be a good choice here.
You definitely want to pay attention to the final texture of the cooked items in this recipe.
1. Make sure you cook the asparagus or green beans until they are JUST done. Super soft veg won't be appealing here. A good trick, as mentioned in the recipe below, is to watch the colour of the veg when you drop them into boiling water. There will be a small window of time where they turn vibrant green, that is a good sign that they are ready or almost ready. Eventually they will lose that vibrant colour and turn a dark unappealing green colour. Ideally you strain the veg and shock it water with lots of ice.
2. I want the lentils to still have some texture. They shouldn't be hard and impossible to eat, but definitely not mushy and soft. I just taste them as they are cooking, then strain and rinse in cold water when they are done to my liking.
3. Potatoes. There's nothing worse than an undercooked potato in a salad. It happens to me on occasion that I strain them too soon. My trick for correcting that is to pop them into the microwave for as long as needed to soften. Ideally you get it right the first time though, piercing easily with a knife is the easiest way to know when they are ready. Make sure you cook them in well salted water for best flavour.
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