There are recipes we try and love once or twice, and a few that make it into our longtime dinner rotation. And then there are recipes that we make, love, and immediately turn into staples. For me, this mustardy lentil and sweet potato salad/dip/spread is the latter. It’s so simple and easy to prepare, but it’s a combination of a ton of my favorite flavors and textures in one place. It’s filling, nutritious, and versatile, something that can be scooped onto a bowl or salad, spread on toast, served with crackers, etc.
The sauce on this salad is an enticing mixture of tahini, Dijon mustard, tamari, lime juice, and a touch of maple syrup. It’s good enough to make and serve in lots of different ways, from grain bowls to kale salads, but it’s particularly good here. Its slight sweetness picks up the the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, but the mustard and garlic give it all a little bite–as does the addition of fresh herbs to the salad itself.
Make a batch at the start of the week, and enjoy it for lunch or breakfast for the next few days. It would be great in wraps, stuffed into collard leaves, scooped onto salad or a bed of quinoa, or as a snack-time dipper for crackers. To save some time, you could bake or steam the sweet potatoes in advance. I baked them, so that they’d be a little creamy and tender for the salad; steaming them will allow them to hold their shape in the salad more. Here’s the recipe!
Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad (gluten free)
- 1 cup dry brown lentils will make about 2 - 2 1/2 cups cooked; you can also use 2 cups canned lentils, drained and rinsed prior to using
- 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes 3-4 cups, cooked
- 1 small clove garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped green onion tops, parsley, cilantro, or dill
- To bake the sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 400F and prick them a few times with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until they're tender all the way through. Remove them from heat and allow them to cool, so that you can handle them easily. Scoop the flesh out of the skins and chop it into 1/2-inch cubes.
- To steam the sweet potatoes, peel and chop them into 1/2-inch cubes. Place a steamer attachment over a large pot of boiling water. Steam the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until they're very tender. Set them aside.
- Rinse the lentils and place them in a small pot with enough water to cover them by a few inches. Bring them to a boil and reduce them to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until they're tender but firm when you taste them. Drain them.
- Transfer the sweet potatoes and lentils to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk together the garlic, tahini, mustard, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, and red pepper, along with 1 tablespoon water. Pour this mixture over the sweet potato and lentils. Add the green onion, parsley, or other fresh herbs. Fold everything together. Check for seasoning and add extra lime juice, mustard, or tamari to taste. Serve.
This recipe is packed with nutrition, including protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, tons of fiber, and a good deal of iron as well. More importantly, it’s flavorful and lovely without being too fussy. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Thanks for the many sweet words about the upcoming Food52 book. Can’t wait to share more. Have a great evening, and I’ll return with another legume recipe later this week!