Coming up with interesting salad ideas in winter is challenging. There are only a small amount of seasonal lettuces available and that can become difficult to come up with something new. So I don’t get stuck in that rut, I like to mix things up and add grains or pulses to my salad repertoire. Lentils are a favorite of mine, either cooked into soups or used in salads. Depending on the variety, they can cook to mush or keep their shape.
Earlier in the year, I read an article in the newspaper by Nenad Mlinarevic, a Michelin star chef who cooked us dinner last year, who mentioned making roasted asparagus with mozzarella cream. I love roasted asparagus and the Mozzarella creme was always at the back of my head. Now, I finally made it.
The carrots are among the last we pulled up from the garden, hence the somewhat funny looking shapes. Carrots are naturally sweet, and I added a bit of balsamic vinegar at the end of their roasting time to accentuate that sweetness. The apple vinegar used in the dressing also underlines it.
The components of the salad can be made in advance and served at room temperature or served warm. Either way, I think it is delicious. If you are interested in another, similar roasted carrot salad, check this one out.
Lentil Salad with Balsamic Carrots and Mozzarella creme
- 150 g lentils (for this recipe ones that retain their shape are best)
- 4-6 large carrots
- 1-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ball of Mozzarella with its water
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp apple vinegar
- 1 tsp pumpkin seed oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 30 ml olive oil
Put the lentils in a put and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until soft. Drain. Make the dressing by mixing the mustard, vinegar, salt and oils together.
Peel and cut the carrots into sticks, drizzle some oil over them and roast on a baking sheet at 200°C until caramelized. About two minutes before taking them out, quickly toss with the balsamic vinegar.
Place the ball of Mozzarella in a blender and add the water until the desired consistency is reached. (I added all of it.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble salad by mixing the lentils with the dressing. Top with the carrots and some of the Mozzarella cream.
Notes: The dressing is a lot and some may not like to use as much dressing, but I think it needs it with all the other components. There will also be quite a bit of Mozzarella creme left over. Either only make half a batch or use the leftovers to mix into other salad dressings or dips.