This salad came together quickly after a trip to the Farmer’s Market and a desire to make something that evoked the earth. The flavors are deep and get better with time from the complexity of the Padrons to the meatiness of the lentils or the nuanced flavors of the sunchokes and woody herbs with toasted almonds. I packed leftovers of the salad for a flight this past weekend, bringing a little bit of earth up to 30,000 miles above it.
Sunchoke Lentil Salad
A tip when cooking sunchokes is to add some cream of tartar to the water as they boil so they won’t go grey later.
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 6 small sunchokes
- 2 cups cooked lentils (from Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 tsp. sage
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 T olive oil
- 9 Padron peppers
1. Wash sunchokes thoroughly and then chop. Pour 4 cups water into small pot and once boiling, add the chopped sunchokes. Cook until fork tender.
2. While sunchokes are cooking, toast almonds for about 2 minutes in toaster oven or on low heat in saute pan until lightly brown.
3. Wash and chop the Padron peppers. Then add olive oil to a small saute pan with sea salt over high heat. Once the oil easily moves around the pan, add the chopped peppers. Once the skin starts blistering with a slight char, you’re done. With Padrons, a quick sear is all that’s needed.
4. Drain sunchokes. Add lentils into a medium sized bowl. Mix in all ingredients including the olive oil used to sear the Padrons. Toss and serve.
~Yields 4 servings