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Sprouted Lentil & Zucchini "Noodles" Salad

Sprouted Lentil & Zucchini
Created By: Chef Robin Leventhal, Crave Food
Use: Shasta Yellow Lentils, Pardina Brown Lentils, Caviar Black Lentils, Madeline French Green Lentils
Yields: 4 servings

Sprouted Lentil & Zucchini "Noodles" Salad
Recipes and photo courtesy of Chef Robin Leventhal, Crave Food and Crave Clay


Ingredients for the sprouted lentils:

2 Tablespoons dried PNW Co-op lentils: Pardina brown, Caviar black, Sunrise red or Shasta yellow
Note: Any whole lentil will sprout. Pardina brown lentils sprout the fastest.

Ingredients for the salad:
1 cup PNW Co-op Lentil sprouts (Recipe follows)

2 pounds Zucchini or Cucumber (Use a mandolin slicer to make the "noodles")

1 cup Fennel bulb or Cucumber, shaved paper thin 

1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, left whole (Or substitute beefsteak tomatoes)

1 ear Sweet Corn

1 Tablespoon Shallots, minced fine

1 teaspoon Tarragon, lightly chopped

1 teaspoon Mint, chiffonade

1 teaspoon Lemon zest 

1 Tablespoon Lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup Grapeseed or Canola oil (must be neutral-flavored)

1 teaspoon Sugar or Honey

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Feta (optional)

Make the sprouts:

Start sprouting 4 days before you want them.  Refrigerate after you get them to the desired length.

Use a commercial sprouter or make your own with a Ball jar and cloth, or a screen in place of a lid for air flow.

1 Tablespoon of raw lentils will make 1/2-1 cup of sprouts, depending on how fresh your lentils are and how long you let them grow. Always use the freshest legumes you have.

Soak the lentils in warm water for a few hours to activate sprouting. A general rule of sprouting: the harder the hull, the longer they should soak. For example, sunflower sprouts start with an overnight soaking, lentils do fine with a few hours.

Rinse your sprouts 2 times a day and keep them in a dark place at room temperature on a counter, not in a cabinet or drawer where there isn't much air flow.

Yield: 1/2 cup-1 cup lentil sprouts

Make the salad:
In a medium mixing bowl, add shallots & vinegar. Let it rest 15 minutes. 

Cut zucchini lengthwise into very thin (julienne or ribbons) strips with the mandolin slicer, turning zucchini and avoiding core. Discard core. Sprinkle with salt and drain while you char the tomatoes & corn.

In a cast iron skillet on high, add tomatoes to the dry pan and let them sit until you see & hear them char, about 1 minute. Shake pan to move them slightly and let sit again until they char on that side. Repeat a few more times, then transfer to a dish to cool. Cut in half, if desired, and save juices for the vinaigrette.

Husk the corn & char over open flame until you hear it pop, turning every few minutes. The kernels will turn a darker color with charred spots. Once cooled, slice off cob & add to the finished vinaigrette. No open flame? Cut the kernels from cob & simmer in boiling water for 3 minutes.

In the bowl of shallots & vinegar, add lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, tarragon, mint, S&P, and whisk well. Slowly stream in oils and tomato juices. Taste & adjust flavor, then add corn and charred tomatoes.

Place zucchini ribbons on a platter, mix with half the lentil sprouts and drizzle the charred tomato-corn vinaigrette over them. Garnish with remaining sprouts & fresh feta or chive blossoms, lemon zest and tarragon leaves.

Chef Robin Leventhal showcased this recipe on our Cooking Demo Stage at the 2016 National Lentil Festival. Watch a video of her cooking demo here.

To learn more about Chef Robin Leventhal, please visit Crave Food and Crave Clay.