This is a most unusual salad that is absolutely as delightful as it is nutritious. I love to use the French or Italian lentils in this salad because they hold their shape when cooked, which is perfect for a cold salad. The sweet potato is raw but you would never know it as it is diced very finely and gives a sweet crunchy flavor. I love to serve this salad with my beautifully simple-grilled large prawns! I just marinade them with organic extra virgin olive oil, and lots of fresh mint and Italian parsley, coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper and serve them with fresh lemon and….WOW, delizioso! I will be making this dish, using local grown Italian lentils for our guests on our culinary trip to Sicily next month, I can’t wait to get their reaction!
French Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad
- 1 cup dry French or Italian lentils
- 1/4 raw sweet potato peeled and diced finely (see photo)
- Juice of 1 lemon and zest
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
- 2 shallots peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Fresh pepper
- MARINADE FOR SHRIMP this is for 8 large prawns, unpeeled
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed
- 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 large lemon cut in quarters
- Place the dry lentils in 4 cups boiling water and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender (but not mushy--they should be “al dente”), uncovered.
- Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water and drain again well.
- Place all the dressing ingredients (except for the salt and pepper for now) in a small bowl and whisk well.
- Place lentils in a medium bowl and add the finely diced raw sweet potato and the dressing and stir gently to coat well.
- Cover the bowl with plastic cellophane and place refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, add the salt and pepper and stir gently.
- FOR THE SHRIMP:
- Rinse the shrimp with their shell on and dry thoroughly.
- Using small cooking scissors, cut the top of the shell of each shrimp so that you can devein it--DO NOT PEEL the shell!
- Place the olive oil, fresh chopped mint, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk.
- Place the deveined shrimp in the marinade and refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Place on a hot grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, right before serving.
- Serve with fresh lemon.