Black Lentil, Eggplant, Walnut Georgian Salad

Black beluga lentils are named after their resemblance to Caviar.  They bring healthy, vegan protein to this oil-free salad.  Mixed with roasted vegetables and walnuts, the unique flavors from the country of Georgia come through.  If you can't find black lentils, simply substitute with green or brown for this gluten-free, vegan recipe.  This is impressive enough for a dinner party and the pickiest foodies.

MEDIUM          Servings: 6     Ready In: 75 minutes

Black Lentil Eggplant Walnut Georgian Salad - Healthy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan

Black Lentil Eggplant Walnut Georgian Salad - Healthy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan

Ingredients

1 cup black beluga lentils
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 head of garlic
6 oz portobello mushrooms (2 bug caps or 4 little)
1 eggplant ( about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds)
2 Roma tomatoes
1 bunch parsley
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


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Procedure

Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 375F

To cook the lentils: Cover the lentils with 2 cups water. Add a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer until tender, about 20-25 minutes

To Roast the Garlic and walnuts: Cut the top off the garlic. Wrap in foil. Roast with the walnuts at 375 degrees. After about 10 minutes, the walnuts will be done. Remove and turn up the heat to 425F. Let the garlic roast until soft, about 50-60 minutes. 

To prepare the rest of the salad: Scoop out the gills of the mushrooms Dice the mushrooms and eggplant. Thinly slice the red onion. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees until charred around edges, about 40 min, stirring every 10 minutes
Remove core and seeds of tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes. Chop the parsley
When the roasted walnuts are cool enough to handle, chop them. 
When the lentils are tender, remove the lid.  Shock the lentils under cold water to stop the cooking
When eggplant mixture is done, remove from oven and let cool
Garlic is done when the cloves are totally soft. Remove from the oven. 
To make the dressing: Squish the garlic to get the roasted cloves out of the skin.  Mash the roasted garlic cloves. Combine with salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar. 

To finish the salad: Combine the lentils, walnuts, tomatoes, parsley, eggplant mixture, and dressing. Toss well. Taste to adjust seasoning
Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature

Chef's Tip:  To simplify, you can use peeled garlic cloves.  Simply wrap in a little foil pouch and cover halfway with water.  You can make a big batch and freeze for whenever you want roasted garlic flavor.  You'll need about 3-4 tbsp. roasted garlic cloves for this recipe.

Yield: 6 cups


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Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (about 1 cup)

Calories 248.44
Calories From Fat (21%) 53.27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.34g 10%
Saturated Fat 0.66g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12.91mg <1%
Potassium 975.55mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 38.86g 13%
Fiber 17.03g 68%
Sugar 8.68g
Protein 13.06g 26%
Calcium 17.3mg 2%
Iron 66.07mg 367%
Vitamin A IU
Vitamin C 532.43mg 887%


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