What a great salad this is with the flavorful tarragon pesto and the fabulous textures of the lentils and crunchy vegetables. The arugula adds the perfect touch of pepperiness too.
Way back when, after a night of watching our friend’s band practice or after one of the many punk rock or reggae shows we went to, we would go to one of our houses and experiment with food by mixing up all kind of concoctions. It was all about whatever was in the house at the time.
Recently, I was at the farmers market and they had an abundance of fresh tarragon so I grabbed a few bundles not really knowing what would become of them. I basically searched my pantry and refrigerator and found pesto ingredients, green lentils and the perfect veggies to go with it. The green lentils and tarragon just work brilliantly together. You would be amazed at what you can come up with if can think creatively!
Just so you know, green lentils do not taste like brown lentils. I say this because I know a lot of people who think they don’t like lentils when it was the brown ones they had.
This salad goes the best with a crisp dry white wine like a unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Rueda or a White Rioja. You could do a Pinto Gris if you like your wine a bit on the sweet side.
- 1 1/2 Cup Dried Green Lentils
- 8 Cups Filtered Water
- 1 Cup Tarragon Pesto or to taste, but make sure and add a little at a time
- 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
- 1/3 Cup Shallots – minced
- 1 Cup French Breakfast Radishes – thinly sliced
- 1 Large Carrot – shredded
- 1/2 Cup Fennel Stalks – thinly sliced
- Arugula to taste
Add the lentils and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and simmer. If you have an electric stove I find it best to bring to a boil on one burner and have another burner on at medium-low to transfer to.
Cook until just tender approx. 15 – 20 minutes, you don’t want then to soft or they will be mushy so check them at 15 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking make the pesto. (you can do this the day before if you want)
When the lentils are done drain into a mesh colander and rinse with water to help them cool down and allow to cool to room temperature. (I use Sanstevia filtered water pitcher, not the faucet )
In a large bowl mix the pesto with the vinegar and salt.
Next add the shallots, carrots, radishes and fennel stocks and mix into the pesto.
Add the lentils when they are cooled.
Serve on a bed of arugula.
Lentils have extremely high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber. They have cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy. A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements. Not only is the fiber good for your heart, the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose is a sugar and a key source of energy for the cells in the body and it is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells and is a key component in keeping your brain healthy. Lentils are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with food containing vitamin C, the iron is enhanced, which in turn increase your energy. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years. years.
Tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources. It helps lower blood-glucose levels, which helps with low blood sugar. It helps in the production of bile by the liver thus making it a great digestive tonic. It is a mild sedative and can help with insomnia anxiety and stress. It is great for the health and function of the eyes. It helps prevent clot formation inside the tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from a heart attack and stroke. It is rich in vitamins C, A and B-complex. An excellent source of minerals likes calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. Tarragon should not be used while pregnant or nursing.