warm salads

Roasted Radicchio and Lentil Salad

This easy vegetarian salad is perfect for cold nights.

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Serves 4

From falafel-style burgers to stuffed peppers, lentils are an extremely versatile ingredient. Plus, they are a great vegetarian source of protein. Here, cookbook author Kristin Donnelly pairs them with radicchio, a vegetable from the sunflower family, which contains vitamin K and is believed to promote good gut health

Ingredients:
1 cup black or green lentils
Salt
2 small heads radicchio (about 1 ½ pounds total)
2 medium shallots
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler or coarsely grated
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a rimmed baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, cover the lentils with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Season the water generously with salt. Cover partially and reduce the heat to medium; simmer until tender, 18 to 25 minutes or more, depending on the lentils. Drain and let cool to warm.

3. Quarter the heads of radicchio through the cores, leaving them attached at the stem end. Halve the shallots lengthwise and peel. Brush or drizzle the radicchio and shallots with two tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the radicchio and shallots cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 5 minutes. Turn the radicchio so the other cut side is down and roast 5 minutes longer, until browned and tender. Transfer the radicchio to a plate but leave the shallots in place. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet and toast until golden, about 4 minutes.

4. Transfer the shallot to a cutting board and let cool slightly, then finely chop.

5. In a bowl, toss the warm lentils with the shallot, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add most of the almonds, cheese, parsley, and toss. 

To Serve: Transfer the lentil salad to 4 plates and top with radicchio. Drizzle the radicchio with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the remaining almonds, cheese, and parsley. 

Also in this series: Winter Panzanella and Catalan Brussels Salad