Summer produce is full of deep reds, pinks, purples. I don’t doubt this is to buffer the effects of a full summer season basking in the sunshine. Rich, dark pigment translates to powerful antioxidant power. So dose up, people. I love this salad, mostly for lunches with a side of wild smoked salmon, or for dinner with grilled fish. It also hold up nutritionally alone, so is great alone, too. Slow roasted cherry tomatoes in a touch of olive oil and sea salt are one of my absolute favorite summer sides. Sweet juicy morsels that are rich in an anti-oxidant called lycothene that protects cellular damage from UV and UVB rays. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that dampen inflammation and lentils are full of plant based protein and fiber. Arugula, red onion, fresh cilantro, walnuts and a lemony vinaigrette pull the salad together. This dish holds up well so cook once, eat for days. It is as delicious as it is functional.
Ingredients: Serves 4 (or 2 and lunch leftovers the next day)
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (tossed in light olive oil or avocado oil with a pinch of sea salt)
1 bag of arugula
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
¼ red onion, sliced very thin
½ cup walnuts, raw
1 cup dried lentils, (soaked before cooking for 2 hours if you are sensitive, drain and rinse well)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. raw honey
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, zest and juice
½ tsp. sea salt
Cook the lentils (as per the directions on the box or bag) with a pinch of sea salt. Whilst those are cooking, roast the cherry tomatoes in the oven at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes. In a big salad bowl, toss the arugula, cilantro and red onion. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together or shake well in a mason jar. Once the lentils are cooked, strain them and let them cool for a while. Add them into the salad along with the tomatoes and toss everything together with the vinaigrette. Keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge. Enjoy!