Before my husband and I traveled to London in mid June, I did some research to find a good vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the city. I stumbled upon a cute restaurant called Mildreds, which is so popular that the line is always out the door! My husband and I arrived 20 minutes before it opened for lunch so we could be at the front of the line.
The food at Mildreds was so good, I bought the cookbook!
All of the recipes in this cookbook look amazing, but the salad recipes stand out above the rest. They’re colorful, creative, and incredibly nutritious! So far my favorite is this lentil salad with roasted vegetables, which I altered slightly and converted the British terms to words we Americans use. For example, did you know a courgette is a zucchini? I didn’t!
After making this recipe, I decided that I don’t use fennel in enough recipes. This salad contains toasted fennel seeds and a roasted fennel bulb, which give this salad an extra summery flavor and delightful crunch!
The balsamic vinegar, red onions, fennel seeds, and tomato sauce in the dressing give this salad a sweet and tangy flavor that would be complemented by a sprinkle of goat cheese, if you really want to treat yourself. The salad is good warm or cold, and you can use any vegetables you like!
This lentil and roasted vegetable salad is hearty and perfect for lunch! Make it ahead, put it in a Tupperware box, and take it to work for a nutritious lunch that your coworkers will covet. I mean, look at how beautiful this salad is . . .
Deciding what to take to a potluck? Going on a picnic? This salad is perfect! Your friends may even ask you for the recipe 🙂
- 1 cup green lentils (I prefer sprouted lentils)
- 1 cup chopped red onion (~ ½ large onion)
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. coconut sugar
- ½ t. blackstrap molasses
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 T. tomato sauce
- 1 T. fennel seeds, toasted and crushed with the bottom of a measuring cup
- 1 handful flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 handful greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard
- For the Roasted Vegetables:
- ~1 lb. butternut squash, cubed, about 1 inch thick
- ½ fennel bulb, cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
- 1 zucchini, cut into ¾-inch-thick wedges
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into ½-inch-thick pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cook lentils in salted water according to package instructions (sprouted lentils only require 5-8 minutes to cook, whereas regular green lentils may take 15-20 minutes). Drain lentils and transfer to salad bowl. Rinse saucepan and return it to the stove.
- Put the onions, vinegar, coconut sugar, molasses, garlic, tomato sauce, and fennel seeds in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring frequently for about 4-5 minutes. Pour the hot dressing over the lentils and leave to cool.
- Add the butternut squash pieces to the baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 10 minutes, remove pan from the oven, and add the fennel and zucchini. Roast another 8 minutes, then remove pan and add the tomatoes and peppers. Roast another 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are golden and caramelized. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
- Add the parsley, greens, and salt to taste to the lentils. Finally, mix in the roasted vegetables and serve warm, or place in the fridge to cool for later.
If you’re ever near the Soho area of London, I highly recommend eating at Mildreds! About half of the menu is vegan and gluten-free, so it’s perfect for people with dairy or gluten allergies. It’s also great for meat-eaters, because the entrees are so flavorful that nobody would miss meat who’s used to eating it with every meal.
If you’re not planning on traveling to London anytime soon, you can always buy the cookbook and try the recipes yourself! Many of the vegetarian recipes can easily be veganized, if that’s what you prefer.
This lentil salad with roasted vegetables is very nutritious, filling, and great for those who are trying to shed pounds or maintain their weight! Keep it in your fridge and spoon about 1 1/2 cups into a bowl and dig in!
You’re going to love it, I promise!