Growing up I was NOT a fan of lentils. I thought they were the grossest bean on the planet. Well, after the Lima bean, that is. Flash forward to a few years ago, I finally tried them again. The first recipe I made with them was this Beef Lentil Soup. It was a recipe out of the Fix It and Forget Lightly cookbook that I adapted. It’s still one of my favorite soups.
I’d never tried them in a salad up until last week, and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure I’d like them that way. In a soup is one thing, but without any delicious broth to slurp them down with? I was very skeptical.
I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I took that first bite of this Pancetta and Sprouted Lentil Salad. The lentils were just as good, if not even better, that way. The crispy, salty pancetta paired with the spiciness from the jalapeno, and tasty dressing make this one incredible salad. I’m really looking forward to getting some more pancetta, so that I can make this again soon.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with sprouted lentils, here’s a little info on them. Sprouting them makes them easier to digest and the nutrients more readily available. You can sprout your own, or buy already sprouted and dried lentils like I do. I’m going to be totally honest here. I admire those of you that do sprout your own, but I know me, and it just isn’t going to happen. This is one of those times that I will gladly take a little help from the store. I buy the TruRoots brand from our local Natural Grocers store.
You could serve this as a side dish for four or a main course for two. My husband and I had it as a main course for lunch, and I enjoyed every single bite of it.
*For those of you who live here in the Collin County area of Texas Local Yocal in McKinney has some awesome pancetta for a great price.
Pancetta and Sprouted Lentil Salad
- 1 cup sprouted dried green lentils
- 3 cups water
- 4 oz . pancetta , cut into small cubes
- 1/2 medium red onion , finely chopped
- 1 large jalapeno , minced
- 2 small carrots (or 1 large), cut into long strips with a julienne peeler, then cut into 1 inch strips
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp raw liquid honey
- 1/8 tsp sea salt , plus black pepper to taste
- Cook the lentils according to package directions until tender, then drain and place into a large bowl.
- While the lentils cook, heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and let cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, place the pancetta onto a paper towel lined plate to let drain.
- Add the onion, jalapeno and carrots to the bowl with the lentils. In a small bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine, then pour over the salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.