Tangled Carrot and Broccoli Sprout Salad With Tahini Dressing
I have daydreams of owning a casual lunch spot with cases full of fresh, tasty salads and light entrees. Big white bowls would be filled with colorful seasonal salads that people could order to go or eat with a friend while enjoying a foamy cappuccino. There would be lots of exposed brick, plants, excellent coffee drinks, and servers who enjoyed being there, and we'd close on Sundays. I really can see every element of the Sprouted Kitchen Cafe in my mind-it's kind of ridiculous-but the first image that always comes to mind is the big bowls of salad. This colorful, crunchy dish, starring orange, red, and purple carrots, is something that would be served in that place. Getting out of the rut of thinking that salads must be made out of greens exclusively, this carrotfocused recipe makes an excellent side to sandwiches. You could make it an entree by doubling the amount of lentils and adding some sturdy greens to fill it out. I have a sprout man at my farmers' market, and I know that some stores carry broccoli sprouts. If they are hard to come by where you are, you could use mache, a very tender green, in its place. Try to find carrots that are on the larger side; they are easier to shave into strips.
Put the lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, adding water if the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are still tough. Drain the lentils and set aside to cool.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots. Rest the bottom of one of the peeled carrots on a cutting board. Starting at the skinny tip of the carrot, press firmly down the length of the carrot with the vegetable peeler to create thin shavings. Repeat with the remaining carrots. (If you prefer, you can use a mandoline instead.) Add the shaved carrots to a mixing bowl along with the broccoli sprouts and onion.
To make the dressing, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, agave nectar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency of a basic vinaigrette.
Add the dressing to the bowl with the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the lentils and half of the pistachios and toss again. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios on top and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte, copyright (c) 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Hugh Forte (c) 2012