lentil salad with smoked almonds, sweet potato and goat cheese

by Eva Felis on January 2, 2012

I can’t believe 2011 is already gone! It was a great year and never boring: I conquered the wicked witch, moved twice into different states and made new friends (miss my old friends).
I baked countless breads, cakes and cookies, but it was also a year full of coffee, red wine, chocolate and many good dinners. If I would take a look on the healthy factor (which I don’t) I might not be proud on everything I ate, but at the end it was a year of pretty darn good food.
I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions it’s more like the new year came with a white canvas, ready for me to throw all the paint on it I can. But still shiny and spotless, I am trying to make as many things right as I can.
Not that I am really into black cats and don’t walk under a ladder curses but eating lentils is rumored to bring luck and fortune as they look like coins. I think it won’t hurt to follow some common superstition for the new year. There is nothing wrong about being careful and hey they are healthy!

A couple of months ago we had been on one of our long road trips and while making a pit stop I went into the nearby market and bought accidentally smoked almonds. They were actually quite good, although I am able to eat just a few of them, their flavor is too intense. I buy a tin from time to time and place them next to the coffee maker after a while it empties itself magically.
So this is how I came up with this salad, lentils for my purse and smoked almonds for crunchiness and a little smokey taste. I added goat cheese for creaminess and feta might also work as well. The sweet potato was just laying around since two weeks and starting to demand for a name, it simply had to go. I added nice color, more smoky flavor and some spice with Pimenton picante ahumado (Spanish smoked paprika powder), half a teaspoon is at least what you should add, more if you dare. I think cayenne pepper would be a good substitute. This all comes together very well and delicious, give it a try!

lentil salad with smoked almonds, sweet potato
and goat cheese

The sweet potato becomes a little soft after a while but leftovers are still great for the next day’s lunch box.
4 – 6 servings as a side dish

450 g / 1 big sweet potato (about 3 cups cubed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Pimenton picante ahumado
1 teaspoon salt

90 g / 1/2 cup puy lentils

80 g / 1/2 cup smoked almonds

20 g / 1/3 cup parsley
3-4 green onion, chopped

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple vinegar

100 g / 3.57 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F. Peel and cut the sweet potato in dices. In a medium bowl mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, Pimenton and salt, add the sweet potato and toss until well covered. Pour in one layer on your baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile rinse the lentils and check for little stones etc. Cook over medium heat, slightly simmering for 25 minutes until done (not mushy). Don’t add salt to the cooking water.

Roughly chop the almonds. Wash the green onions and the parsley, shake of any water and chop finely. This all can be also done in a food processor.

Make the vinaigrette: add the olive oil and the vinegar into a ball jar and shake well.

Bring everything together in a bowl, serve still warm or cold.

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Lover of chocolate and vegetables, Atlantan by choice and German by birth

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