Curried Lentil & Zucchini Salad
one can pre-cooked lentils, drained and rinsed wellone ripe avocado, stone removed and cut into cubestwo zucchini’s, topped and tailed and then thinly sliced into ribbons with a veggie peelera handful of rocket, roughly choppeda handful of coriander leaves, roughly choppedone tablespoon pumpkin seedsone teaspoon coriander seedsone teaspoon cumin seedspinch of salttwo tablespoons lime juiceone tablespoon olive oilI have a serious glut of zucchini’s developing here and two out of the four plants have only just started to flower. There are worse things that could be happening in my house right now I know, but I must warn you that a glut of zucchini’s probably means an onslaught of zucchini recipes. I’m thinking breads, muffins, fritters and salads… As the weather heats up I can think of nothing worse than being stuck in a hot kitchen with the oven on so dishes such as these are quite appealing to me at the moment. You could easily prep a few of the ingredients the night before and make this up for a healthy lunch at work or serve it alongside some veggie burgers for dinner. I’ve got a heap of yellow zucchini’s on the go at the moment, I’ve never actually had these before but I came across a punnet at the nursery and decided to give it a go. They taste like the regular zucchini’s that we’re all used to so no great mystery there, if anything they bring a nice zing of colour to your bowl. To get the long ribbons you can see in the pic above I simply take to the zucchini with a vegetable peeler and peel off long strips one at a time. Once you hit the seeds it’s entirely up to you if you want to keep peeling, switch to a knife for a fine dice or (gasp!) throw them away if you really can’t bring yourself to eat them. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to toast the seeds and spices substitute with a dukkha or some salad sprinkles, the earthy crunch of the cumin and coriander seeds are what make the rest of the flavours in this dish come alive. Just finally, this dish is happily 100% vegan and gluten-free so everyone’s invited!
In a large bowl combine the avocado, lentils, zucchini, rocket and coriander leaves.In a small frying pan add the coriander and pumpkin seeds, cumin and salt and toast over a low flame until fragrant and the seeds start to brown. Be careful not to let them burn.Remove from the heat and using a mortar and pestle gently crush the spice mix to break everything up. You don’t want a fine powder here, just a really gentle grind.In a jar or bowl add the lime juice and olive oil plus a teaspoon of the spice mix. Add a little more salt and some cracked black pepper. Mix well and check the seasoning. If necessary add a little more spice or salt.Pour over the dressing, mix everything well and then add the remaining spice mix to add flavour and a little crunch to the salad. Check seasoning and serve.You can follow my adventures in the veggie garden here: http://adelaidefood.wordpress.com/Original recipe here: http://adelaidefood.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/curried-lentils-zucchini/