Asparagus and Lentils with Walnut Vinaigrette
I was gifted with asparagus this weekend (thanks Mum!) and inspired by a recipe for Asparagus and Lentils in Nut Vinaigrette from Marlena Spieler's magnificent cookbook, The Vegetarian Bistro. An elegant appetizer, there's plenty of taste and texture here without any trace of heaviness. I used walnut oil for my vinaigrette, which was fabulous and mild, and fresh spring onions from the farmers' market.
This is also my contribution to Seriously Good's Asparagus Aspirations. My dish used locally grown asparagus, carrots, and spring onion. The lentils were French.
If you're keen on lentil recipes (and I know some of you are), check out this cool lentil recipe roundup at Bibliocook.
And speaking of elegance, congratulations to Pim of Chez Pim for her starring role in this article in the NY Times Style Magazine!
Asparagus & Lentils with Walnut vinaigrette (inspired by The Vegetarian Bistro)
1/2 cup puy lentils
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 carrot, finely chopped
Salt & pepper
1lb asparagus, tough ends removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 spring onion, white part chopped (not scallions, but a young spring onion)
1 1/2 tbsp walnut oil
1 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Simmer together the lentils, bay leaf, garlic cloves, and carrot until the lentil are just tender (20-25 mins). Drain and season.
Heat the oil in a wide non-stick skillet and cook the asparagus over medium heat for about 3 minutes (you'll need to test it). You want it to be crisp, but cooked through. Season.
Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients. Stir 1/2 into the drained lentils.
Spoon the lentils onto the plate alongside the asparagus. Pour remaining vinaigrette over the asparagus. Serve warm.
FOOD + VEGETARIAN+ASPARAGUS ASPIRATIONS