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whole food ~ well made

Lentil, parsnip spinach salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

Early Spring Spinach, Lentil & Parsnip Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Spring is for salads! Are you with me?

But with the rain still drizzling down and the temperature on this side of sweater weather, it’s still a bit early for all the wondrous lettuce varieties.

Good thing there’s spinach. I adore a good wilted spinach salad. But sometimes I also need that salad to be a bit more substantial. Or even a Meatless Monday main dish.

Lentil, parsnip spinach salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

That’s when I turn to this spinach, lentil and parsnip salad recipe from my beloved River Cottage cookbook called Veg.

If you’ve been hanging around Forage at all, you know that I adore three foods perhaps above all {but please don’t make me choose}: greens, legumes–which include beans, lentils and peas–and roasted vegetables.

This lovely salad brings them all together for a kick start to spring salad feasting.

It’s a medley of textures from the spinach leaves, the just-cooked-to-tenderness lentils {I used red lentils here, which are super quick to cook} and toothsome parsnips chunks.

Lentil, parsnip spinach salad recipe at lynnecurry.com.

The flavors are all mellow and blend together like a harmonizing trio. And that’s why this zingy little homemade honey mustard dressing works so well.

This dressing is so uncomplicated and rewarding, you may want to use it for other roasted vegetables or grain salads this spring.

You know, before we turn our backs on the produce that got us through the wintry months and gorge on all the lettuces.

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What’s in your spring salad bowl? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Spinach, Lentil & Parsnip Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

This recipe is from a terrific vegetable book from the River Cottage series called Veg. It brings together fresh spinach, cooked lentils and roasted parsnips with a harmonizing honey-mustard vinaigrette. Serve it as a main dish or as a side for roast pork, chicken or fish. This is best served at room temperature.

Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword spinach lentil salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

For the honey-mustard dressing:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the parsnips with the oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until they are deeply browned, turning once or twice, about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, cover the lentils in a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water, add the garlic and bay leaf and reduce the heat to simmer until the lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the garlic and bay leaf.

  3. To make the dressing, whisk the oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard and garlic in a small bowl, or use an immersion blender for a smoother dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. When the lentils are cooked, toss them with most of the dressing to lightly coat. Toss the spinach with the remaining dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. To serve, make a loose bed of spinach on a platter and distribute the parsnips and lentils over it. Top with a shower of sunflower seeds.

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