Recipe to Try: Terry Hope Romero's Grilled Kale Salad with Lentils

Recipe to Try: Terry Hope Romero's Grilled Kale Salad with Lentils (Source: Terry Hope Romero/John Stavropoulos, Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils courtesy Da Capo Lifelong Books)Summer is right around the corner, and we all know what that means when it comes to fresh, delicious and healthy cuisine: it's salad season. And just in case, having survived a long, long winter of primarily warm foods, you've sort of forgotten how to expand your personal salad palette beyond the realms of lettuce and cucumber, we found just the right cookbook to get you salad excited this summer: It's called Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love ($20), and it's packed with seasonal main-course salad recipes bursting with veggies, plant protein, flavor and color.

Co-written by chef and author Terry Hope Romero, whose previous vegan cookbooks include the popular Veganomicon, there are salads for every season, including Curry Pumpkin Collard Wraps, Pomegranate Quinoa Holiday Tabouli, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing, and Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils. Try this last one at home this summer with the following recipe:

Grilled Kale Salad with Spicy Lentils

From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

(Serves 2; preparation time: 30 minutes, not including cooking the lentils.)

Grilled kale marinated with coconut milk pairs wonderfully with lentils: the kale grills in a flash, so it’s easy to fire up a cast-iron grill pan on the stove for flavor that rivals grilling in the great outside. Enjoy this salad year-round, or in the early spring (or late fall) when lacinato (Tuscan) kale is at its sweetest after a touch of frost.

Ingredients:
1 pound lacinato (Tuscan) kale
1 bunch (about 6) scallions, root ends trimmed
1 cup coconut milk (full fat or reduced fat)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 ½ cups cooked canned lentils, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1⁄4 cup toasted, chopped almonds
Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions:
1. Trim away the tough bottom inch from each stem of kale and discard. Slice the stems into 3-inch–long sections. Transfer to a bowl and add the scallions. Pour in the coconut milk and lime juice, add a pinch of salt, and massage the kale and scallions just enough to coat them with dressing. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat.

2. Remove only the kale from the bowl and grill it for about 30 to 45 seconds, flipping once, until it is tender and perhaps slightly charred. Transfer to a dish. Grill the scallions for about 1 to 2 minutes, transfer to a cutting board and slice into bite-size pieces when just cool enough to handle.

3. In the bowl with the leftover coconut lime dressing, whisk in the vinegar and Sriracha. Add the lentils, onion, tomatoes and almonds and toss to coat with the dressing. Mound the lentil mixture in individual serving dishes, arrange the kale and scallions on top, and serve with lime wedges.

––Terry Hope Romero

Recipe to Try: Terry Hope Romero's Grilled Kale Salad with Lentils
(Source: Da Capo Lifelong Books)
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