Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warm Lentil-Ham Salad with Dijon Cream

Adding chopped vegan deli ham slices to this lentil salad makes it hearty enough for an entree. Use any brand you like, as the options just keep expanding: Lightlife, Yves Veggie, and Tofurky are just a few from which to choose. Despite the recipe title, you can serve the dish warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup lite vegan sour cream (such as We Can't Say It's Sour Cream)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 1/3 cups chopped vegan ham slices
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan and cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain.

2. Combine the sour cream, mustard, milk, white wine vinegar, thyme, and black pepper in a large bowl.


3. Add the lentils, ham, celery, and red onion, and toss well.


I paired this salad with white wine.  Any (vegan) French white wine seems particularly apt here, to go with the flavors of Dijon mustard, lentils, and ham.


To round out the meal, add French bread rolls, and this simple and quick sauteed Swiss chard recipe: heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 12 ounces torn Swiss chard, and saute for 3 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon vegan sugar, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; saute for a final minute.


Nutrition Info:
4 servings (about 1 and 1/3 cups), Calories 291

Tasting Notes:
I really enjoyed the combination of lentils, ham, and mustard, the last of which was subtle but noticeable in each bite. I definitely would use more spices, both more thyme and something else in addition to it. The raw celery and red onion did get slightly warmed just by being next to the warm lentils, but next time I would blanch them quickly to reduce some of the raw bite, as in my Edamame with Mustard Vinaigrette. I enjoyed the salad best warm, but chilled leftovers do make for an easy lunch.

Rating:
3

Update:
I tried this salad again about a week later, wondering if dried thyme would taste stronger than the fresh, so I used 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Unfortunately the opposite was true - even less noticeable - so I do recommend seeking out fresh herbs when you prepare this.


I also used Vegan Gourmet sour cream the second time around, thinking it would be creamier and richer, but the difference in taste was negligible.

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