This hearty lentil salad entertains two different parts of the fennel plant: the fresh bulb and the dried, toasted seeds. The digestive benefits of fennel are well known for relieving gas, cramping, and bloating. The pairing of fennel and parsley along with the lentils is an especially winning combination.

DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, NUT-FREE, VEGAN

SERVES 4 | PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

1 cup French green lentils

4 cups water

1 cup very thinly sliced fennel bulb

1 cup very thinly sliced red onion

⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 bunch Italian parsley, cleaned and chopped

¼ cup rice vinegar

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 generous tablespoon mustard

1.Preheat the oven to broil and position the oven rack on the middle setting.

2.In a medium pot, simmer the lentils in the water for 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

3.Arrange the sliced fennel and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste.

4.Broil for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until fragrant and tender.

5.While the vegetables are roasting, toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes (see tip).

6.Drain and rinse the lentils. In a serving bowl, toss the lentils with the warm roasted vegetables and chopped parsley.

7.In a jar, combine the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and mustard. Cover and shake to mix.

8.Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with the toasted fennel seeds, and season again with salt and pepper.

PREPARATION TIP: Toasting whole spices is an age-old technique that releases and intensifies the aromatic flavors. It also makes your kitchen smell so amazing. Place whole spices in a heavyweight pan over medium heat. To prevent burning, keep the spices moving by stirring them with a wooden spoon or shaking and tossing the spices in the pan. Remove from the hot pan soon after the aromas hit your nose. Allow to cool in a heatproof dish.

HERB PROFILE

FENNEL

Dried seeds, fresh bulb

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Avoid during pregnancy in more than culinary amounts

TASTE/ACTIVITY: SPICY/SWEET/WARM/MOIST

PROPERTIES: Aromatic carminative, expectorant, galactagogue

USES: Relieves colic and teething pain in babies (when a breastfeeding mom drinks tea), gas, bloating, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting; treats intestinal viruses and dry cough; stimulates breast milk production; prevents mastitis; loosens congestion

SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS: After-dinner digestif, culinary spice, fresh bulb roasted and sliced in salad, tea

ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR: DIGESTIVE RELIEF

Fennel relieves gas, vomiting, nausea, burping, flatulence, and chronic low-grade diarrhea.

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