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Author Notes: A simple summer salad made with tender lettuce greens, raw kale, fresh herbs, sautéed asparagus and radishes, charred lemon, black lentils and a hardboiled egg. —Angela Brown
Serves 2 as a meal
- 1/4 cup dry black lentils
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus (I prefer green asparagus here), washed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 bunch radishes (I used Easter Egg radishes, though any variety will work well), washed and cut in half
- 1 lemon, sliced in half
- 6 cups mixed tender lettuce greens, roughly chopped
- 1-2 cups kale leaves, removed from stems and roughly chopped
- 2 cups assorted fresh tender herbs (I used basil, flat leaf parsley and chives), roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- coarse sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- In a medium-sized pot, cook the lentils according to the package's directions. I like to add some of the assorted herbs into the pot while the lentils cooks (maybe 4-5 basil leaves, 2-3 parsley stems and 5-6 chives). When the lentils are done cooking, drain their liquid, remove the wilted herbs and set the lentils aside to cool to room temperature.
- While the lentils cook, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the egg (you can certainly add more than one egg if you want to beef up the recipe). Cover the pot and allow the egg to simmer for exactly 7 minutes. Immediately remove the egg and submerge it in cold water for several minutes. Peel the egg and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus, the radishes and the lemon halves (being sure the lemon is faced down so the juicy pulp will begin to caramelize). Allow everything to brown for a few minutes; avoid the temptation to move anything. When everything begins to smell like it has begun to caramelize (but is not yet burned), you can begin to gently toss everything in the pan until the asparagus and radishes are cooked, but still firm. Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow things to cool to a little bit above room temperature.
- In a large bowl, add the lettuce, the kale, the asparagus, the radishes, the lentils, the remaining fresh herbs and the capers and gently toss. Squeeze the charred lemon (both juice and pulp) over the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss again. Cut the cooked egg in half and arrange on top of the salad.