This salad post has been a long time in the making. My first iteration of this salad was nearly two summers ago when I first started sprouting lentils. Now, two years later and with a bit of development, I give you one of my favorite summer (winter?) salads.
For some reason, I took a break from sprouting for a while. I just was not in the mood. Perhaps that mood was replaced with fermentation for a while – I just made an insane batch of berbere sauerkraut that I barely shared with Eric, not to mention all the beer we’ve been churning out of this kitchen. But I recently saw a recipe for very simply cooked lentils with vinegar and was re-inspired to throw some wet lentils in a jar. And really, that’s all there is to sprouting lentils. Rinse them. Put them in a jar with a piece of cheese cloth secured on top, and let them sit. Rinse them every day and keep them moist. After a day, you should see a tiny sprout starting to emerge from the lentils, and after two or three days they should be in really good shape.
Once you see the sprouting action happen, you can eat them right then and there, raw and all. You can cook them, also, if you desire. Once they’re sprouted to the point that you like, rinse them a final time and dry them completely. They’ll keep in a jar in the fridge for at least a week.
I have also been putting fish sauce in a lot of my salad dressings lately. I have learned to not be afraid to use it even when my flavors aren’t veering toward the Asian continent. It really adds a nice depth that compliments so many flavors. It works nicely with the boiled egg yolks in this recipe to add a savoriness and richness to an otherwise simple salad.
Swiss Chard Salad with Sprouted Lentils and Egg Yolk Vinaigrette
1 bunch swiss chard, green, red, rainbow, whatever
1/4 cup sprouted lentils
2 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 avocado (or a whole one!), thinly sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil – one for the dressing, one for the breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and pepper
Remove the stems of the chard and finely slice it by rolling up the leaves and shredding it with a knife. Set aside in a bowl.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, carefully place the eggs in the water and set a timer for 11 minutes. When done, run the eggs under cold water. You may need to adjust the time based on your altitude, but I find 11 minutes to be a perfect hard boil in NY.
In a pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the breadcrumbs. Toast over high heat until the crumbs are browned and golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the dressing, remove the yolks from the eggs and mash them in a small bowl. Roughly chop the egg whites and set aside. Add one tablespoon of olive oil along with the vinegar and fish sauce to the egg yolks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the salad, toss together the chard, lentils, avocado, egg whites, and bread crumbs. Drizzle on the dressing and serve immediately.