Curried Lentil Salad
By: 
Dish Type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredient prep: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 entree servings (2 C dressing)
 
Lentils cook in just enough time to assemble the rest of this quick salad. Endless flavors and textures make it equally perfect for a party as for a Tuesday night dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1½ C green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1½ C mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
  • ¼ C packaged chutney (I used Major Grey, at Ina's recommendation)
  • ⅓ C dry white wine (see notes)
  • 3 T curry powder
  • 1 C chopped celery (3 stalks)
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 dried figs, chopped small (or other dried fruit, for ¼ cup chopped)
  • 1 C coarsely chopped cashews (roasted and salted)
Make It
  1. Cook the lentils while you prepare the rest of the salad. In a pot, combine lentils and 5 cups water (or stock, if you have some on hand), 1 bay leaf, and 1½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until just softened. Drain and rinse, and let lentils cool as long as possible before assembling the salad.
  2. Whisk the mayonnaise, chutney, wine, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper until smooth. Set dressing aside in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. In a large bowl, gently mix the lentils, celery, scallions, dried fruit, and 1½ cups of the dressing. Fold in the cashews. Add more dressing as desired. Serve alongside greens and/or baked sweet potatoes.
Notes
Nutrition: the recipe is gluten free and can be made vegan with a vegan mayonnaise.

The dressing is even better made a day ahead. Store salad components separately until ready to assemble and serve. If you're serving one or two, it's best to keep the cashews separate and add them only to the amount you plan to serve, so they don't become soggy when sitting in the dressing in the fridge.

I haven't experimented with substitutes for the wine; however, I imagine a fraction of the quantity of apple cider vinegar would have similar acidic and sweet qualities. Start with 1 to 2 tablespoons and increase as needed, supplementing water or unsweetened apple juice for the missing liquid.

Adapted from Ina's Curried Chicken Wraps.
Recipe by Natural Comfort Kitchen at http://www.naturalcomfortkitchen.com/curried-lentil-salad/