I love leftovers; not having to cook but still getting a homemade meal? Yes please. But they can get redundant quickly. Which is why I love this recipe for Lentil and Farro Salad. It's a super yummy, filling, and vegetarian dish that I love to make in a large batch and use throughout the week for multiple dinners. The trick is that you can repurpose the dish into 3 different and quick-to-make meals once you start from the lentil salad you made once: Stuffed Acorn Squash, Crispy Lentil Burgers, and Lentil Soup. You can also use it as a hearty side dish.
Lentil and Farro Salad
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 yellow onion (or half if it is big), chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup green French lentils (or your preferred variety of lentils), rinsed
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 cup farro
1 bunch spinach
In a medium pot, sautee carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes. Add rinsed lentils and stir, then add curry, cumin, and a pinch of salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 1 inch, then turn up heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer about 15-20 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the lentils are tender to your liking.
Meanwhile, bring farro and 2 cups water with a large pinch of salt to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and add to the lentil mixture when it is ready.
Add spinach to the lentils and farro. Mix over medium low heat until the spinach wilts. Add liquid if necessary, and taste at this point to adjust seasonings if needed. Adding freshly grated parmesan here is optional.
Dinner #1: Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the middle & seeds, and rub cut sides with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast cut-side up in 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until you can easily push into it with a fork.
- Fill each half with lentil salad. Grate some fresh parmesan or gruyere on top of it and stick it back in the oven for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.
Dinner #2: Crispy Lentil Burgers
- Mix 1 cup lentil salad with 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 tablespoon-ish finely grated parmesan, and some flour if your batter is too runny.
- In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil. When hot, drop some lentil batter and fry it up until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes per side. Serve on a bun or with a dollop of sour cream, greek yogurt, ricotta, or a poached egg.
Dinner #3: Lentil Soup
(I don't have a picture because we ate it too fast)
- Put your leftover lentil salad from your previous lentil dinners in a medium pot. Add broth (chicken or vegetable, whatever you have on hand) until lentils are covered and it looks like soup. Bring to a boil and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste; to lighten it up, add some water to taste as well. I added some fresh chopped parsley to freshen the flavor.
- Puree half of the soup in a food processor or blender. Add back to the pot and stir well to combine.