For the past three weeks I feel like my diet has essentially consisted of five ingredients– tomatoes, cheese, sweet corn, melons and simple carbohydrates. Occasionally I throw in some butter, an egg, a cucumber, an apple, some hummus, but generally I just repeat the same five or six delicious flavors in slightly different ways.
Tomato toast. Tomato pie. Tomato salad. Caprese.
Sweet corn pizza. Sweet corn muffins. Sweet corn fritters. Loaded cornbread.
Melons for breakfast. Melons for lunch. Melons for dinner.
Obviously, I still have zero in the way of complaints. A great tomato, sweet corn and watermelon season is the kind of season a farmer dreams of. It’s very bountiful, very heavy, and very happy.
But after nearly a month of tomatoes and cheese, my body suddenly began screaming for greens. It craved the kind of salad that could become a meal, but still felt light– something with healthy nourishing (and filling) ingredients like lentils and mushrooms. In other words, something to counteract all that cheese and sourdough.
This simple salad isn’t flashy but it is a great healthy dish that highlights some of the lesser mentioned joyful ingredients of summer– kale (or mustard greens), carrots, garlic. It’s rich and earthy, fresh and filling, and packed full of different textures.
I love to cook lentils the way I do here in this recipe. I just boil them (sometimes in stock, sometimes in water) for 10-15 minutes until just tender than drain them and then rinse them under cool water. I’m interested in crunchy lentils with bite, not a mushy mess. Since I started doing this a few years ago, lentils have become a stand by on my salads.
The carrots are the most decadent part of this recipe. They are tossed with a mustard vinaigrette before being roasted. The mustard caramelizes the edges of the carrots and allows more room for char and crunch. Once they just begin to brown, the mushrooms and garlic go along side. There is something so lovely about gently roasted mushroom. The mustardy sauce really takes things to the next level. Also note, I used shittakes because I love them and always seem to have so around, but you wouldn’t have to. Oysters, cremini, and portabella would all do well here.
I hope you love this simple summer salad and that it balances out the dozens of balls of burrata you’ve also been devouring since tomato season began.
KALE WITH MUSTARD ROASTED CARROTS & MUSHROOMS
Adapted from Grown & Gathered
Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side
Takes 1 hour
1/2 cup lentils (puy or brown will work best)
2 cups water
1 bunch carrots (or salad turnips), greens removed for another use, roots quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounce shittakes, sliced
1 bunch kale (or mustard greens), stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Kosher salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn on the convection if you have it.
- Prepare your lentils by combining lentils and water in a small pot with a pinch or two of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss carrots with half of the dressing and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for an additional 10 minutes until beginning to brown. Some of the mustard may burn a little– just scrape it up and add it to the mixture.
- Meanwhile, combine garlic and shittake with the remaining dressing. Toss to coat. Add to carrots (after they have been roasting for the full 25 minutes) and roast an addition 15 minutes.
- Combine roasted carrots and mushrooms in a bowl with lentils and allow to cool slightly. Add mustard greens and toss to combine. Drizzle with additional olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.