I find that summer is the perfect time to indulge in salads. The greens are fresh from the garden and I can have endless cold or warm salads, depending on the temperature for the night. The Tuscan kale has been growing like wild in our garden, so this recipe was inspired bywhat’s in-season – or by what is taking over the garden. This warm salad is perfect for stormy New England days when you feel the mix of summer fever and winter nesting. The fresh greens are light, but the sweet carrots and smoky shiitake mushrooms provide this recipe with some heartiness that can be enjoyed with a glass of wine – or your favorite summer drink. —Austin | Tea & Stories
In a large cast iron skillet or saucepan, warm 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until the onion is lightly brown and caramelized, roughly 12-15 minutes. Add chopped kale and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until leaves are tender. Remove the ingredients from the cast iron skillet and saucepan. Set aside.
In the same cast iron skillet or saucepan, mix lentils, garlic, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, in a separate small saucepan, warm 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and heat for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, or until crispy and brown on one side. Flip the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, crisping the other side.
Drain the lentils in a colander. Return to the cast iron skillet or saucepan with kale mixture.
To prepare the dressing mix together sesame oil, soy sauce, tahini, maple syrup, lemon, and ginger. Pour over the warm salad before serving.