The dressing is a balsamic and orange juice reduction with an intense but balanced flavor. Double the dressing if you like; it turns simple grilled pork chops or chicken into an elegant dish.
Lentil, Orange and Goat Cheese Salad with Warm Balsamic Dressing
1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 bulb fennel, chopped
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups mixed field greens (or other lettuces)
3 oranges, peeled and cut into 1-inch segments
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- Combine lentils, water and fennel in a saucepan; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Partially cover and simmer for 20-22 minutes or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Drain.
- Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinegar, orange juice, fennel seed, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 16-17 minutes until syrupy or reduced to about 1/4 cup. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed. Toss lentils mixture with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic dressing.
- Toss the greens, orange segments and half the goat cheese together. Dress with the remaining balsamic reduction. Divide among four plates. Top each plate with the one-fourth of the lentil mixture. Sprinkle each plate with the remaining goat cheese.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving: 423 calories, 21 g protein, 71 g carbohydrates, 20 g fiber, 9 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 354 mg sodium