When we say hello to winter, we usually bid farewell to salads—crisp weather doesn’t pair well with crisp lettuce. But, we don’t have to.
The key to eating salads in winter is making them warming, like this sweet potato and lentil bowl from The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife and Beyond. Not only is it tasty, it’s good for us, too.
Authors, Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice explain, “As you might expect, Beluga lentils are named after the caviar they resemble—we adore them because they’re such a beautiful jet black, and they have a rich flavour and velvety texture that works perfectly in this good-carb bowl. Like all lentils, they’re high in protein and fibre, so they make for a filling meal, particularly when paired with roasted sweet potato, toasted pine nuts and this sweet, dark dressing.”
Don’t say sayonara salads just yet.
Sweet Potato & Black Lentil Bowl
1 sweet potato, about 250g, peeled and sliced
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
250g pouch ready-cooked Beluga or Puy lentils
1 small red onion, very finely diced
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
a handful of pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp date syrup
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place the sweet potato slices in a small roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes until just softened and starting to brown. Leave to cool, then cut or tear into 1cm pieces.
Tip the lentils into a serving bowl, add the cooled sweet potato and the onion.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir well, then season. Pour half of the dressing over the lentils and toss together.
Top the lentils with the toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.
+ Tips & Tricks … Use the lentil and sweet potato mix (undressed) as the base for a stunning soup—just add veg stock, heat through and blend. + Health Hack… Unlike green lentils, black lentils possess anthocyanins, the same potent antioxidants found in dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries, offering added protection against age-related disease.