About ¾ cup180 ml cherry tomatoes, or a mix of small, colorful greenhouse-grown tomatoes, halved
8black olivespitted and halved
6walnut halvescoarsely chopped (optional, but lovely as lentils and walnuts go really well together)
1tsp5 ml capers
For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake vigorously. Set aside.
For the lentils: Place the lentils in a saucepan, then add 1 ½ (375 ml) water, the garlic clove, and the thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to the minimum and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender with a bite. When the lentils are done, drain, remove the thyme sprig and garlic clove, and transfer them to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the dressing, some freshly ground black pepper, and a good pinch of salt. Mix to combine, then let cool to room temperature.
For the salad: While the lentils are cooking, prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice and set it close to the stove. Place the potatoes and the eggs in a saucepan, then cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, then set a timer for 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the ice water bath, leaving the potatoes to simmer. Increase the heat to medium, then add the green beans to the saucepan. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the green beans to the ice water bath. Test the potatoes by pricking them with a sharp knife. If they still seem too firm, keep on simmering them for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the ice water bath and leave to cool completely about 5 minutes.
To serve: Peel and halve the eggs. Set aside.
Quarter the potatoes, and cut the green beans in 1-in (2.5-cm) lengths. Transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and half of the cooked lentils. Shake the dressing again, then drizzle 2 tbsp (30 ml) over the salad. Toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Divide the dressed salad between two bowls. Top each serving with black olives, walnuts, capers, and parsley. Place one egg over each portion. Serve immediately.
Although this recipe is meant to have you prepare all the components at once by multitasking, you can also prepare most of it in advance—dressing, lentils, eggs, potatoes, and green beans. Store all prepped components in airtight containers in the fridge for up to one day (make sure to store the eggs unpeeled). Assemble the salad right before serving.
Store the remaining cooked lentils in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Turn them into a quick and easy lunch by serving them alongside sliced avocado and a runny egg.
Store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to a week. It’s extremely versatile so use it to dress any and all salads.
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