Meatless Monday: Grilled peach, lentil, and parsley salad

This salad is perfect for a light midday snack or simple salad before a large meal. Peaches and toasted hazlenuts pair sweetly with healthy lentils. 

Beyond the Peel
Peaches are as juicy as ever this season. Add them to a salad with crunchy hazelnuts and soft lentils for a perfect summer snack.

Having cooked lentils in my fridge has become a time management tool of mine. It allows me to put salads, soups and side dishes together in minutes. With lentils on hand, I can put super healthy meals together in less time than it takes to go through the drive thru.

For grilled peach, lentil, and parsley salad if you choose not to grill the peaches or toast the hazelnuts, this salad comes together in less than five minutes and is delicious. If you choose to grill the peaches and toast the hazelnuts on the grill, it’s still a fabulously nutritious meal that not only impresses but comes together in less than 15 minutes. Not bad, right?

Need more flexibility? Don’t like peaches? Use nectarines or oranges. Don’t like hazelnuts? Leave them out or sub in another nut or seed? Don’t do dairy? No big deal. Just leave it out. Don’t cheer for lentils? That’s OK, white beans would be an easy sub in. Don’t have parsley on hand? Try it with spinach or arugula. The options are endless.

Grilled Peach, Lentil and Parsley Salad

Ingredients are per person, multiply accordingly.

1 cup cooked Puy or French Lentils
1 peach
1 cup flat leaf parsley
8 hazelnuts
2 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese
Olive oil

Heat the grill to 450-500 degrees F. Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Brush the peach with oil and oil the grill (this is optional, but the grill marks won’t work out as well if you don’t).

While the peaches are grilling, put the hazelnuts on a foil pie plate and toast them on the grill (approximately 3-5 minutes, but also optional). Place the parsley on the plate.

Mix the lentils with the salad dressing. Season the lentils with salt and pepper to taste. Add the lentils on top of the parsley, sprinkle with goat cheese and hazelnuts.

Remove the peach from the grill. Slice the peach and arrange on top of the salad. Garnish with flowering lemon thyme (optional if you want to be fancy and all).

For the lentils:
Place 1 cup of French or Puy lentils with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 22-25 minutes (makes appx 2 to 2-1/2 cups). If you’re really new to whole foods and cooking beans or lentils from scratch still seems like a bit of a stretch, you can start by buying them in a can.

Mix the oil, apple cider vinegar and honey together until honey has dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the chipotle oil:
In a small pan over low heat, gently warm the 1/2 cup of olive oil and one dried chipotle pepper, cut into 4 pieces. Be careful not to heat the olive oil too much, hot to the touch is what we’re after, but no hotter. Remove from the heat source and allow the chilies to soak in the oil. Taste the oil and adjust the spiciness by adding more oil if it’s too hot. If it’s not hot enough, return to the stove and warm it up one more time. The flavor will develop the longer it sits.

For the salad dressing:
1/2 tablespoon chipotle oil (or regular olive oil)
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey (raw is best)
salt and pepper to taste

Related post on: Beyond the Peel

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