March was such a busy month I barely had time to cook, let alone write anything; but suddenly it is April and I am feeling the pull of spring and the first garden offerings so I am back in the kitchen and ready try some new recipes! I saw yellow split peas at the store and began craving a legume salad for some reason so that’s my offering for this week. You could easily substitute lentils or green split peas if you prefer but I loved the colors of the yellow peas, orange carrots, and green chard all combined together.
This is a hearty, nutritious salad full of flavor with fennel, onion and carrots. I had difficulty choosing a dressing so ended up combining ingredients from several recipes and really love this one! The Bragg’s Liquid Aminos* (or tamari or soy sauce) really adds a great flavor twist and works perfectly with the yellow lentils. This salad is great warm or cold and the flavors develop in the fridge so it makes an easy to pack lunch for work days.
YELLOW SPLIT PEA SALAD with FENNEL and CARROTS
(Makes at least 6 servings so you could cut the recipe in half if you want less, but I am such a fan of having leftover yummy things so I don’t have to cook every day! It freezes well, too.)
1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed well, cooked and drained
1 small onion, diced
5 – 6 medium carrots, diced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, save some of the fronds for garnish
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
3 – 4 stalks Swiss chard, finely chopped, including both stalk and leaves
1 TBSP lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP tamari, soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos* for gluten free)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
½ cup olive oil
Mix all ingredients except the oils in a bowl then slowly whisk in the oils until it thickens and is well blended.
* If you haven’t heard of Bragg’s Liquid Amino it is worth checking out. A great alternative to soy sauce or tamari because it is nonGMO soy and it is gluten free. Soy sauce always has wheat and tamari may or may not, you have to check the label.
Rinse yellow split peas, drain and put into a large pot. Add about 6 cups water and simmer on low for about 45 minutes, checking frequently to make sure the split peas do not become mushy. They should be a bit firm but not chewy or crunchy. If they get too mushy you can turn them into a delicious soup so all is not lost!
While they are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté about 10 minutes or so until they just begin to soften. Add the garlic and the chard and continue to cook until the chard is wilted and all the vegetables are cooked but still firm, about 5 more minutes. Drain the water from the cooked split peas and put them into a large bowl; add all the cooked vegetables, lemon juice, salt and pepper and any other seasoning of your choice.
You can chop up some of the fennel fronds and add those as well. Mix about half the vinaigrette into the dish and stir it all together. Plate it up and drizzle some more of that delicious dressing on the salad, then garnish with fennel fronds, a sprig of parsley, some chopped red bell pepper and dive in 🙂
This is such a pretty salad it would be great for a pot luck or for company since it works for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and is hearty enough for everyone!