It’s only a matter of weeks before the fresh local asparagus is gone until next year, so I’ve been scooping up every last bunch I can find at the market. Leftover cooked asparagus tends to leave much to be desired, so I only use as much as I need for a recipe. Storing asparagus in a large jar filled with a few inches of water allows you to keep the asparagus fresh and crisp for a couple weeks! Usually, one large bunch makes two meals for Corey and I. So with a half bunch of asparagus leftover and a craving for lemon poppyseed dressing came this delicious summer salad. French Lentils with sautéed asparagus and a lemon poppyseed dressing.
Lentils as a whole just might be my favorite legumes, but french lentils are the GOAT. They tend to be more tender than green lentils but still hold their shape; making them perfect for salads. You can make the lentils ahead of time if you want to cut down on prep.
Homemade Dressing For The Win
Nothing feels like summer quite as much as a lemon poppyseed dressing. Perusing the aisles at the grocery store the other day, a lemon poppyseed dressing caught my eye. I almost bought it, but when I looked at the ingredients, I realized how simple it would be to make a dressing at home! For the homemade dressing I simple combined:
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Water
- Minced Onions
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Brown Spicy Mustard
- Garlic Powder
Add all of the ingredients to a dressing shaker or mason jar and shake well until uniform! Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Always best to start with less acid and add it until you achieve your ideal flavor.
When It’s Too Hot For The Oven
I’m usually all in on grilled or roasted asparagus, but with zero desire to turn the oven to 425, sautéing happened! In order to cut down on cooking time and to make the salad more bite-able, I cut each spear in half, lengthwise, and then thinly sliced (ribboned) the halves. Once the spears were cooked through, I removed them from the heat and added the lentils and the dressing, tossing until evenly coated. Then I added fresh chopped basil and a little sprinkle of crushed red pepper for a tiny kick.
This salad was delicious served slightly warm, but was equally delicious as chilled leftovers. Which means this salad is great for easy weeknight meals or can be made a head of time for a bbq or party! Ready to give it a try yourself? Let’s go!
French Lentils With Shaved Asparagus and Lemon Poppyseed Dressing
A simple early summer salad thats delcious served warm or can be chilled and taken to a BBQ!
- 1 cup french green lentils
- 1/2 bunch asparagus spears halved and ribboned/shaved
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2-3 tbsp lemon poppyseed dressing Homemade recipe above
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, ribboned
- 1/4 cup parmagiano arregiano, shredded organic if possible
- sea salt and pepper
Cook french lentils according to package or by combining 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes (or until tender). Set aside
In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil and add asparagus ribbons. Saute for 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender and lightly browned. Add minced garlic and zucchini after 5 minutes of cooking.
Remove aspargus from heat and add the french lentils and dressing. Lightly tossing to coat and then moving it to a serving bowl.
Add fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Serve imediately, or chill for an hour before serving.