This is a family recipe and a serious crowd pleaser. Roasted red peppers with lentils, tomatoes, and zucchini ribbons marinated in a simple dressing over crisp, fresh greens. Topped with avocado and vegan feta. It's beautiful to look at, it's fun to make, and it's delicious. Perfect for Spring!
4cupsmache lettuce, packed also called corn salad or lamb's lettuce
2cupslittle gem lettuce
4heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
4red romano peppers (can sub with red bell peppers)
1/4cupfresh basil, roughly chopped
1shallot, very finely diced (can sub with red onion)
1/2cupfrench lentils (can sub with green lentils)
1/4vegan feta block (i love the brand violife)
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Chop the little gem lettuce then combine with the mache lettuce. Wash and dry and add to a large plate or bowl. Lightly dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- about 1 tsp of each -- and toss to combine.
Slice the bottom off of your zucchini and use a peeler to create long ribbons. Place the ribbons in a small bowl, add about 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a bowl (regular sized, like for cereal) combine the finely diced shallot, chopped fresh basil, and thinly sliced tomatoes. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, then toss to combine. Set aside and allow this to marinate for about an hour. As you move through the steps below, things will get added to this bowl. You want everything to fit tightly in the bowl so it can really marinate all together.
Preheat the oven to 200C / 395F. Slice the tops off of the peppers, remove seeds, and cut in half. Lay on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Lightly rub them with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to char and the peppers are tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Then chop into 1-2" pieces and add to the bowl with tomato marinade. Stir to combine.
Prepare the lentils by adding to a small pot with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Your package might tell you to cook them longer, but check for doneness at 20 minutes. They should be chewy but not crunchy, similar to al dente pasta. Drain the lentils and let cool for about 5 minutes before adding to the tomato and pepper marinade. Stir to combine and let sit for the final 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, add the tomato/pepper/lentil mixture to the center of the salad bowl. Leave the remaining liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
Using a slotted spoon or your fingers, place the zucchini ribbons around the outside of the salad.
Peel and dice your avocado and place along the zucchini ribbons. Squeeze the lemon over the avocado.
Crumble the vegan feta over the top and finish with lots of chives.
Recipe Notes: I've made this with various greens as the base, use whatever your preference is.