Lentils are nutritious and quick cooking, and they play well with many spices. They’re also more versatile than you might think. Not only do they make a great salad, but when brined and fried, they also make a great salad garnish.
I learned this new-to-me way to prepare lentils in The Complete Salad Cookbook, the test kitchen’s modern guide to preparing healthful, colorful, and fresh salads. While I’m still a big fan of boiled and stewed lentil dishes such as palak dal, the crispy, crunchy lentils from this brine-and-fry technique have enhanced many of my meals since I first came across them.