Here, the sweet potato balances the earthiness of the lentils, and the maple syrup vinaigrette provides a seasonal complement.
When you mix the salad together, even if you do it gently, the sweet potato chunks will break apart a bit. The effect is homey and delicious.
- 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound)
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked clean of any foreign matter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prick each potato several times with a skewer or the tines of a fork, then place in the oven on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the sweet potato's size and age), until the juices ooze a bit out of the pricked holes and the sweet potato is soft. Let cool for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the lentils: Place them in a 3-to-4-quart pot; add enough water to cover 1 to 2 inches above the lentils. Place the pot over medium heat and cover with the lid ajar. When the water starts to boil, adjust the heat so the water stays at a low boil. Cook for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, nutmeg, chives and salt to taste in a large bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking to incorporate. Add the lentils to the dressing.
Carefully discard the sweet potato skin(s). Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch chunks; transfer to the bowl with the lentils. Gently toss to coat evenly with the dressing.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.