It hit me today while making a fresh juice, that greens are now in short(er) supply. Sure, there are still many delicious greens available like kale, miner’s lettuce and mâche, tatsoi, arugula, spinach and sprouts, but not in the quantity where one can just grab some fresh leaves with abandon to throw into a juice or shake. That is unless you planned ahead, and are growing ample amounts of kale or extending the harvest of greens in your garden, in which case, my hat goes off to you garden friend.
More and more farmers are catching on to season extension techniques and expanding the harvest season into the winter months. We will hopefully see much more of this in the near future- but for now, in the spirit of abundance, if you have a large barrel, bucket, or a few square feet of space at home, then you can extend the season too- with just some plastic or frost-protecting garden fleece. I will be writing more about this in our upcoming newsletter this month!
For now, I am looking at ways to savour and enjoy the greens that are still on offer, and one of those ways is in this winter greens salad featuring mâche (aka corn salad), but you could easily substitute miner’s lettuce (aka comptonia), both of which are deliciously delicate seasonal greens with no hints of bitterness; they are a welcome addition to my burgers or salads any time.
The Du Puy lentils give this salad some substance (and pretty pebble-y colours), and the goat cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds pack some flavourful punches, not to mention some festive colour. You can generally find dried Du Puy lentils at European or Italian markets, and often at health food stores too. Their name means ‘From Puy’ (pronounced ‘pwee’)- an area in France where the mineral-rich volcanic soil produces some very flavourful lentils (a similar quality held by our Okanagan wine!).
Winter Greens Salad with Pomegranate & Goat’s Cheese
1 ¼ cups dry Du Puy lentils (~1/2 cup cooked per serving), washed
Soft goat cheese- a small packet (113g)
½ cup walnut halves or pieces
1 pomegranate, halved and seeds removed while immersed in a large bowl of water
Winter greens: Mache (aka Corn Salad or Lamb’s Ears) or Comptonia (aka Miner’s Lettuce)
For the Dressing:
½ to 1 tsp Dijon mustard (½ tsp is very subtle)
¼ tsp sea salt
black pepper- a couple pinches
1 ½ Tbsps minced onion
1 ½ Tbsps fresh lemon juice
½ Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse the lentils well with cold water and place them in a medium pot with a pinch of sea salt. Cover the lentils with two inches of cold water and bring to the boil with the lid on, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until lentils are al dente.
- Allow the lentils to release steam for about 5 minutes, then mix them with the dressing while they’re still warm. Cool almost completely before adding to the salad.
- Wash the greens and dry. Top with the dressed lentils and then with the small pieces of goat cheese, the walnuts and pomegranate seeds.
- Top with some more sea salt and serve.