lentil pomegranate salad

Lentil Salad:
1 cup (200 g) dry french lentils
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2/3 cup (96 g) toasted hazelnuts*
3/4 cup (122 g) pomegranate arils (about ½ pomegranate)
1 cup (25 g) chopped parsley leaves
6 ounces (170 g) baby kale or salad greens
1/2 cup (65 g) (optional)
For the Simple Cider Dressing:
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
2 teaspoons grade A maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pink or sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and set a small baking sheet to the side. Add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Drain the lentils and rinse with cold water. Set Aside.
Hazelnuts: While the lentils are cooking, toast your hazelnuts. Add the hazelnuts to the baking tray and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring the tray every 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn! Once toasted, transfer the nuts to a clean dish towel, cover, and let sit for 1 minute, to steam. Rub the nuts vigorously in the towel to remove any loose skin, then transfer the clean(-ish) nuts to a cutting board. Chop roughly, then set aside.
Dressing: Add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper to a small glass jar. Seal well and shake until emulsified.
Assemble: Add the lentils, pomegranate, and parsley to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing. (If you have time, you can chill this mixture in the fridge* for 30 minutes – or overnight – for more flavor) Arrange the mixed greens in the base of a serving bowl, then top evenly with the lentil mixture plus the toasted hazelnuts and pickled red onions. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, or leave it off to the side for people to add as they please.
Serve: Serve chilled; dressed leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.Store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 10 days. (Note: the olive oil may solidify in the fridge, but will soften after about 30 minutes at room temperature).

1 medium-to-large red onion
¾ cup or distilled white vinegar
¾ cup filtered water
1 tsp kosher, sea, or pink himalayan salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp (optional, but recommended)
Optional add-ins*: 3-5 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 chopped jalapeño, or 1-2 tsp fresh herbs
Slice your onion into half or quarter-sized rings. I prefer to slice mine to be about 1/4″ thick, but that depends on personal preference. Use a if you’d like your slices to be more uniform and/or thinner.
Break up the onion slices and stuff them into a quart-sized glass mason jar.
Prepare the pickling liquid by adding all of the remaining ingredients (see notes for add-ins) to a small pot or pan over high heat. Stir the mixture together to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once the liquid comes to a boil, carefully pour it into the glass mason jar and let it sit on your counter until it cools to room temperature. The onion pieces will gradually soften and shrink with time – if any stick above the liquid in the beginning, press them down with a fork 5-10 minutes later.
Seal your jar, then store in the fridge for up to one month. These pickled onions will be the most crispy within the first week, then will gradually soften with time. Serve as desired.
On extra add-ins: I like to add my hard spices (like black peppercorns or mustard seeds) in with the pickling liquid while it’s heating up. Otherwise, add your softer add-ins (like garlic or fresh herbs) into the jar with the raw onion.
On sweeter: you can use any sweetener of your choice here. Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Agave are all great options
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