lentil and asparagus salad

Roasted asparagus and red onions combine with arugula and a punchy dressing made from harissa (a Tunisian hot chile pepper paste) and fresh mint.
By: Anna Becker / 04/07/2016 /

A poached egg tops it off, it’s molten yolk mixing in with the dressing for a bit of richness. The vegetables, lentils and eggs make this vegetarian meal as substantial as it is delicious. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: 1 garlic clove 1/2 cup lentils du puy 2 fresh mint sprigs 1 lemon 3/4-1 teaspoon harissa 4 cups arugula 1 small red onion 8 medium asparagus spears 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar olive oil coarse salt freshly ground black pepper 2 large eggs


  1. Gently smash and peel garlic. In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 4 cups water. Bring just to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, pick mint leaves from stems. Finely chop 2 large leaves. Wash lemon, then finely grate zest. Squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons juice. In a bowl, whisk together finely chopped mint, lemon zest and juice, harissa, 1/4 cup oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

  3. Cut off any long stems from the arugula then wash and dry well. Coarsely chop remaining mint leaves. Combine arugula in a medium bowl with coarsely chopped mint. Set aside.

  4. Heat oven to broil with rack 6 inches from the heat source.. Peel onion, leaving root end intact. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Trim off root ends from asparagus. Arrange asparagus and onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until tender and lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  5. Drain lentils, then transfer to a large bowl. While hot, toss lentils with 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing and season with salt. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining vinaigrette to arugula mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

  6. Combine vinegar and enough water in a skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Bring water to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Carefully crack eggs into individual small bowls or cups, then gently slide into the simmering water, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Poach at a bare simmer until whites are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Arrange lentils, arugula, asparagus and red onion on serving plates. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the salads. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.