Red Lentil, Mango and Arugula Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

This salad says, Summer, you have arrived!  Officially.  When mangoes are dropping off the trees, demanding to be used pronto, it's all the sign you need.  I mean if, by some miracle, you hadn't noticed the heat.  There is a Mango Angel Pie  planned for this week, I've been cooking green ones that drop off early, and this was a main dish fruit on the savory side of sweetness.  The vinaigrette contains mustard and cumin, along with umi plum vinegar and the passion fruit juice.  Altogether, a salad that will wake up any lazy or dozing taste buds.

The sprinkles of green are crushed curry leaves.
I started out with the idea of using Le Puy lentils, but discovered we were out, so just substituted the red lentils, after researching an estimated cooking time.  These red lentils, or Masoor dal, cook up much faster than some (like Le Puy) and are usually prepared in curries or sauces, cooked down to a softer consistency than you want for salad.  I tasted as they simmered, and after 4 minutes, pulled the pot off immediately.

Sometimes it feels as though we've been eating way too much meat.  And, it's there in the left-overs I polish off for lunch as well.  A good thing for me that lentils are a quick fix.  Using legumes entails more thinking ahead than lentils, which don't require soaking first.  So, a great staple to have on hand for whipping up a main dish salad in no time at all..
The mangoes add a nice contrasting tangy sweetness to the ensemble, with a hint of the Middle East from mint and cumin.  The local, pretty Spring onion from our market was too irresistible.

Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

1/4 cup passion fruit juice
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 cup mild vegetable oil
1/3 cup umi plum vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon cumin
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add all the dressing ingredients to a glass jar and stir well, until the honey is dissolved.  Set aside while making your salad.

Red Lentil Salad with Mango and Arugula 

Serves 2

2 cups water
100 grams red lentils (or about 3/4 cup)
1 small to medium mango, skinned and sliced
1 cup arugula leaves, washed
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 Spring onion, minced
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
1 sprig of curry leaves, fried crispy and crushed

Bring water and the lentils to a boil, then simmer from 4 to 8 minutes.  Check so they don't get mushy.  Drain and let them cool in a strainer when finished.  Then put into a salad bowl.  Meanwhile, fry the curry leaves and set aside to cool wrapped in a paper towel.  Then crush and sprinkle over the lentils.

Prepare the vegetables, mango and mint, then add to the lentils.  Shake the vinaigrette well, and toss the salad with about 1/4 cup of dressing.  Add more if needed.  Taste for salt and pepper. I served it with ears of fresh, buttered corn.  A loaf of crusty bread would also be nice. This will go over to Chaya for her My Meatless Mondays round-up this coming week.


Joanne said...

Mmm mango is my absolute favorite fruit and I'm sure this salad would definitely brighten up my day!

Kirsten Lindquist said...

Wow! The title and pictures alone have me! Looks amazing!

girlichef said...

That is a Spring onion!? Holy cow...it's fantastic! This is an amazing dish...oh, to live in the land of mangoes... YUM.