ROASTED POTATO SALAD WITH FRENCH LENTILS & SPRING VEGETABLES

Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!

This post is sponsored by GRAIN.

Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!
We went on a slightly soggy, but still invigorating hike with friends over the weekend and what did we spy in perky clumps all over the forest floor? So. Many. Ramps. I am fond of saying that I like ramps, I’m just not “OMG ramps” about them. They are garlicky and onion-y, and they are one of the first edibles that pops up around here in the spring. I’ve always seen them as having their own transitional season, rather than being a strictly spring vegetable. Anyway, as we carefully stepped around river banks and leaped over tracks of mud, we kept spotting them. My man always comes prepared, so finally I asked for his pocket knife and cut some for us to split with our friends when the hike was over.

We took enough for one meal and cut through the stem so that the bulb was still in the ground–for more ramps next year and forever after that, hopefully. Wild food is cool, but exercising care and respect is even cooler. This article is really helpful if you’re thinking about going on your own ramping adventure. I think I’ve said this before, but it’s not a locavore/foodie badge of honour or something. It’s a gift from the earth. An attitude of gratitude will make them taste so much sweeter (or more garlicky, whatever).

As I said earlier, I kind of see ramps as a transitional season crop, perfect for mixing with all-year ingredients. I’m a lover of potato salads, but they have to be done a certain way–vinaigrette for the dressing, tons of sharp/acidic flavours, and with satiating side elements in the mix. I have a recipe for potato salad with caramelized onions and pickles (!!) in my book that is amazing, but I’m always working on some kind of seasonal spin with this dish.

With this version, I serve the salad warm with a solid helping of cooked French lentils and spring vegetables. The lentils stay firm, but integrate seamlessly with all the other elements. They make the salad feel hearty without taking away from the carb-fest quality, which is key! The very cool people at GRAIN have been sending me their French lentils for a while, and they’re part of our meal prep every week. When I take the box of lentils out of my pantry, I see a picture of the farmer and I’m reminded of the fact that they were harvested a couple provinces over with a transparency that is uncommon in dry goods. Their whole line of products is superior in quality and freshness to every other brand I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot). It’s feel-good food in all ways imaginable. Their journal is also an excellent recipe resource, and there happens to be an interview with me up there today ;)

Hope that some of you get a chance to make this salad while we have the spring goodies around. Even if you don’t, this one transitions to late spring and summer just fine. Start with the potato/lentil/dressing base and add in seasonal elements that you have on hand. In the meantime, hope that all of you are enjoying some sunshine and warmer days. xo’s!

Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!Roasted Potato Salad with French Lentils & Spring Vegetables - The First Messpin it!


ROASTED POTATO SALAD WITH FRENCH LENTILS & SPRING VEGETABLES
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 4-6
NOTES: If you can’t find ramps in your area, just substitute with 3-4 finely sliced green onions, and skip the step where I toss the chopped stems in with the asparagus/potatoes. You can use white wine vinegar in place of the sherry vinegar. Last thing: it’s important to season the whole salad thoroughly. It might seem like a lot of salting is going on here, but this salad needs it, trust!

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons minced shallot)
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil

POTATOES + SALAD INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs mini yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon za’atar spice
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup French lentils, rinsed
10-12 ramps/wild leeks
15-18 spears of asparagus, woody ends removed + cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 radishes, chopped
¼ cup fresh dill leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the minced shallot, mustard, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.

Cut the potatoes into halves and transfer them to a large baking sheet. If some of the potatoes are particularly large, cut them into quarters. Toss the potatoes with 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil, za’atar, salt, and pepper. Slide the potatoes into the oven and set a timer for 40 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lentils to the saucepan and simmer until just tender, about 18-20 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl. Toss the warm lentils with 2 tablespoons of the dressing, some salt and pepper, and set aside.

Separate the ramp leaves from the stems. Mince the ramp leaves and set aside. Finely chop ramp stems.

Once the 40 minute timer on the potatoes rings, take the potatoes out of the oven and give them a stir. Push them over to one side of the baking sheet. Drop the asparagus and chopped ramp stems on the empty part of the baking sheet. Toss the asparagus/ramp stems with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Slide the baking sheet back into the oven for 10 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and tender.

To serve, combine the potatoes, asparagus/ramp stems, lentils, ramp leaves, radishes, dill, and remaining vinaigrette in a large bowl. Season the salad with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

*This post was created in partnership with
 GRAIN. All opinions/endorsements are my own. First time buyers get a 15 % discount on GRAIN products with my code: FIRSTMESS15. Thanks for supporting!

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  • Ron19/04/2017 - 4:29 am

    This looks wonderful. Great idea to use fresh ramps. We’ve got a backyard full of them. We’ve made a similar warm potato salad using arugula so why not ramps. Thanks for the idea.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek19/04/2017 - 7:08 am

    This salad screams spring to me, so I’m extremely excited to try it! I’m dying to get my hands on some ramps, but nothing yet. I’m hoping I can find some before the month is over and they disappear…Also thanks for the GRAIN rec–I’ll have to give them a try. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Pia19/04/2017 - 7:47 am

    Wow. This salad looks gorgeous, Laura, and I feel as though you’ve really outdone yourself with these photographs. I mean, don’t get me wrong, your images are always on point, but the lighting in these/ the way in which you captured that beautiful sunlight kind of takes things to a whole new level -I’m seriously swooning over here *insert heart-eyed emoji*ReplyCancel

  • Ally19/04/2017 - 8:59 am

    This looks delicious, but I don’t like asparagus. What would you suggest to substitute?ReplyCancel

    • Laura19/04/2017 - 11:04 am

      Hi Ally,
      You could do green beans, bell pepper strips, or even little stick-like cuts of zucchini in place of the asparagus.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Karen19/04/2017 - 9:19 am

    Hey Laura,

    Just wanted to pop in to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your curried tempeh patties lately…they are so flavorful and simple and foolproof (reliably adhering into patties) and incredibly versatile. I’ve been freezing a batch weekly for quick lunches and afternoon snacks. My new favorite ‘burger’ of the season!

    Best,
    KarenReplyCancel

  • christine19/04/2017 - 9:39 am

    This is one super pretty potato salad! I’m so impressed by your foraging skills. I always shy away from bringing anything home with me in fear that it’s not what I think it is! I was actually thinking I’d sign up for a foraging walk/workshop with an herbalist I know to help me learn enough to feel comfortable. I’ve seen ramps at the market before, but never (knowingly, at least) during hikes around here. Maybe someday :)ReplyCancel

  • Valentina | The Blue Bride19/04/2017 - 11:12 am

    This salad looks so gorgeous! I think I’ve never tried ramps, but I’ll totally look for them asap ^_^ReplyCancel

  • michelle19/04/2017 - 11:56 am

    OMG RAMPS. But seriously, what a beautiful salad. I feel like some green garlic once its in the market could also be a delicious stand in. So excited for spring and welcoming each new vegetable.ReplyCancel

  • Marta | Naturalmente buono19/04/2017 - 12:48 pm

    Looks like it’s kinda of potato salad season! Just posted a new potato salad on my blog which, like yours, has za’atar and dill in it. Amazing! Also, made the same consideration about salt: I found myself adding lotsa salt in mine and wondering if it was just me. So glad I’m apparently not a salt monster.
    Anyway, I love roasted potatoes, especially if paired with asparagus and a mustard dressing like yours. Totally going to try this salad this weekend, with green onions instead of ramps since I’m not able to find them here.
    Always thanks for inspiration, xo MartaReplyCancel

  • Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper19/04/2017 - 2:17 pm

    Beautiful photos, as always! I’m loving the packaging Grain uses…so simple and elegant. This recipe sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith | Earth & Oven19/04/2017 - 7:36 pm

    This healthy spring recipe + the way it was captured makes my heart happy! That photo with the light streaks omggggg. Lol.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer19/04/2017 - 9:10 pm

    This looks delicious, but I do not like mustard. Do you have a suggestion for a replacement in the dressing? I bump up against this in a lot of yummy looking recipes.ReplyCancel

    • Laura20/04/2017 - 8:15 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      The mustard is there for flavour, but also as an emulsifier for the dressing. With that in mind, you could replace it with 1-2 teaspoons of regular/vegan mayonnaise if you wish. I’ve also heard of people using potato starch as a thickener for vinaigrettes/dressings. The flavour will be totally different though. If you’re indifferent to the texture of the dressing, you could replace the mustard with the same amount of prepared horseradish, minced capers, minced garlic, or anything else that is slightly sharp in flavour.
      -LReplyCancel

  • Debra20/04/2017 - 10:02 am

    this looks so beautiful…… can’t wait to try it. aside from the gorgeous food, where oh where did you find that stunning copper measuring cup! swoon.ReplyCancel

    • Laura20/04/2017 - 10:18 am

      It was a random find at HomeSense! I haven’t seen them there since I picked them up a few months ago. I think brand on it was something like “Master Class Bake Shop” or something similar.
      -LReplyCancel

      • Debra21/04/2017 - 10:33 am

        great score! thanks for the reply Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder20/04/2017 - 7:59 pm

    I loved your vids from your ramping adventure on stories! It sounds so fun and such a neat way to welcome spring. I’m obsessed with the colors and textures in this dish Laura, and just want to dig my fork into the screen! Popping over to read your interview now (they are always my favorite :)) and hope you are having a super sweet week.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi21/04/2017 - 7:40 am

    You had me at potatoes. But then you had my heart when you spoke about foraging. Take only what you need – leave the forest as you found it – or better! There is an enormous amount of respect that should be paid in the woods, so happy you talked about that here. I’ve bookmarked that potato salad from your cookbook for summer picnics, I’m always sure to find a little inspiration here. Thank you, Laura! xReplyCancel

  • […] Denne opskrift på bagt kartoffelsalat er inspireret af bloggen "The First Mess". Jeg har brugt dressingen fra den oprindelige opskrift, men forenklet fremgangsmåden lidt og ændret noget på ingredienserne. Se den oprindelige opskrift her.  […]ReplyCancel

  • I love french lentils, they are sometimes hard to find here but when I do find them I get loads. Love this dish, it looks stunning and how sneaky to add some yukon in there too.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon23/04/2017 - 6:48 pm

    Baghh, couldn’t find ANY radishes! Not even the little red ones (and I live in Montréal, we’re basically neighbors as far as produce availability…right?). Any recommendations to sub in for the odd radish drought I’m suffering over here?ReplyCancel

  • Leo Sigh25/04/2017 - 9:00 am

    This looks so good. And I love lentils, so will definitely have to try this.

    Gorgeous photos too!!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine Duckett25/04/2017 - 9:02 pm

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious. I subbed broccoli and green beans for the asparagus as my 15 year old is not a huge asparagus lover. Roasted them just like the asparagus in the recipe. It was delicious. I loved the flavors and texture. Really really good. Thank you for always being a delicious source of healthy, whole food recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Tatyana Hanley26/04/2017 - 2:53 pm

    Hello, Laura — made the salad last night for dinner. I didn’t have watermelon radishes and used just regular red once and their greens. So delicious, there was one with no leftover for lunch! I’ve just ordered your book to get more delicious recipes and support your great work. Keep the recipes coming!ReplyCancel

    • Laura26/04/2017 - 3:56 pm

      Thank you so much Tatyana! I’ve never ate the greens from radishes before, but now you’ve inspired me to try it :) Hope you enjoy the book!
      With gratitude,
      LauraReplyCancel

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