Beluga lentils resemble caviar, hence the name. Not only do they make for a beautiful garnish, they are absolutely splendid to eat, especially in a salad.
I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this salad is. The flavors of lemon accompanied by “al dente” green beans and the delicate saltiness of prosciutto are an absolute treat, one not to be missed. This salad can easily made without the prosciutto to satisfy any vegetarian.
I absoluuutely love this salad….and don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy it with a glass of your favorite red wine. The lemony taste of the salad brings out the sweetness in the wine….mmmm, yummy.
For the lentils:
1 cup beluga lentils, rinsed (250 g)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
12 paper-thin slices prosciutto di Parma, chopped (preferably organic)
150 g baby green beans, trimmed
bunch cilantro, leaves removed
1 small head butter lettuce, or other mild leaf lettuce
For the dressing:
juice from 1 1/2 large organic lemons
zest from 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil (generally, lentils should be cooked at a 1:3 ratio, lentils to water), then simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Set aside.
3. In a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add the prosciutto and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate to cool.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
5. Add the red onion, green beans, cilantro and prosciutto to lentils; toss well with the dressing.
6. Season with salt and pepper and serve over a bed of salad greens.