Texas Pete® Italian Buffalo Lentil and Quinoa Salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 C dry Brown lentils, cooked in water according to the instructions on package
    • 1 1/2 C dry Quinoa, cooked in water according to the instructions on package
    • 2 bulbs or 3 cups raw Fennel, medium diced, caramelized
    • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
    • 2 cult raw Garlic cloves
    • 1 1/2 C Olive oil
    • 1 1/2 C Pine nuts, toasted
    • 1 C Kalamata olives, pitted, rough chopped
    • 2 Red bell pepper, seeded, small diced

    Dressing

    • 3/4-1 1/4 C Texas Pete® Buffalo Wing Sauce
    • 1/3 C Basil pesto
    • 3 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    YIELD: 2 quarts
    PORTION (Serving Size):

    1. Begin by cooking the lentils and the quinoa separately according to the instructions found on the packages.  Once the lentils and quinoa are cooked place them in the refrigerator to cool completely.
    2. Place a large sauté pan on medium heat and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once heated, add the diced fennel and cook for approximately 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the fennel is caramelized.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the fennel in the refrigerator to cool.
    3. Place the two cups of whole garlic cloves into a small saucepot and pour the 1½ cups of olive oil over them.  Turn the heat to medium and allow the garlic to slowly fry in the oil for approximately 20-30 minutes stirring often to prevent them from burning.  Once the garlic cloves are softened and golden brown remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to absorb excess grease.  Place the fried garlic cloves into the refrigerator to chill.  
    4. Toast the pine nuts in a large sauté pan or in a 350 degree F oven until they are lightly golden brown.  Place them in the refrigerator to chill.
    5. Once the ingredients are completely cold, remove them from the refrigerator and combine them all into a large mixing bowl.  Add the Kalamata olives and the red bell pepper to the salad.
    6. Prepare the dressing.  Place the Texas Pete® Buffalo Wing Sauce (use amount based on preferred heat, adding more later,) basil pesto, red wine vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper into a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour the dressing over the lentil and quinoa salad and gently mix all of the ingredients together.  Taste for seasoning and then place the salad into the refrigerator to allow the flavors to come together.

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