- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons shallot, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- pinch allspice (optional)
Do ahead: Cook the lentils and beets. The fastest way is to cook lentils in ample boiling water, like you would pasta. Boil the beets (covered) cutting them in half if larger than a tennis ball (or feel free to roast). Peel and dice or slice.
Make the Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
In a small pot, heat pomegranate juice and shallots and bring to a simmer over medium-low or low heat. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Take care to simmer gently– as boiling will cause bitterness. (Aim for bubbling around the edges of the pot, rather than throughout.)
Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 7 days, shaking extra well before using.
Make the Maple Glazed Walnuts: Preheat oven to 35oF
Toss walnuts with maple syrup and a pinch of allspice and salt, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. When golden, remove from oven, fluff with a fork, and let cool completely. The syrup will harden and become crackly and the nuts will break apart easily.
Assemble the salad:
In a large bowl, add spinach, cooked lentils, beets, basil and pomegranate seeds. Toss with some of the dressing (start with half) then add more as needed to coat all the ingredients generously and evenly. Taste, adjust salt and vinegar if needed.
Salad is easiest made in stages- cook lentils and beets ahead and refrigerate, make dressing and walnuts ahead.
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