With asparagus season drawing to a close, I wanted to honour its sweet, delicious flavour once more with a salad. I wanted to compliment its sweet earthiness with the deep earthiness of lentils. With that deep savoury bitterness, I wanted to add sweet and sour flavours with fresh tomato and a fruity vinaigrette. I’ve been making a lot of fresh fruit compotes with cherry and rhubarb lately because they are also abundantly in season, so they were a natural fit with the salad. The old adage, “If it grows together, it goes together,” certainly applies to everything in this salad.
Grilled Asparagus and Lentil Salad with Cherry Rhubarb Vinaigrette:
For the vinaigrette:
Place the compote, vinegar and oil in a blender or in the cup that comes with a hand blender and purée until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and pulse briefly to combine. Set aside.
For the salad:
1/2 cup Gold Forest Grains dry lentils
2 cups water
1 cup Doef’s Greenhouses cherry tomatoes, halved
16 Edgar Farms asparagus spears
4 Sparrow’s Nest Organics spring onions
2 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
4 cups Sparrow’s Nest Organics arugula
In a small pot, bring the water and dry lentils to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Drain excess water and set the cooked lentils aside to cool in a medium bowl.
Toss the asparagus and spring onions in oil and grill over medium high heat until deeply golden on all sides (about 7-8 minutes for asparagus and about 3-4 minutes for the spring onions). Chop them roughly and add them to the lentils in the medium bowl.
To the lentils and grilled vegetables, add the cherry tomatoes and reserved Cherry Rhubarb Vinaigrette. Toss lightly with your fingers to coat all of the ingredients.
To serve, spread four plates with arugula leaves and place a handful or two of prepared lentil salad in the centre of each. Serves 4.