Fresh Johnny Jump-Ups have a mild minty flavour that brings a brightness to recipes. While this recipe is a terrific light lunch or dinner side dish, it also works well as an appetizer for a crowd when served with warm pita bread to spoon up the garlicky yogurt and greens.
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried Du Puy lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) plain Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) mixed spring greens,
torn into bite-sized pieces if large
6 large asparagus spears, peeled
into ribbons using vegetable peeler
1/4 cup (60 mL) basil leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces if large
1/4 cup (60 mL) Johnny Jump-Up flowers, rinsed and patted dry
Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Stir in lentils, ensuring water covers them by more than an inch
(2.5 cm). Reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside to drain well again.
In medium bowl, stir together yogurt, garlic, turmeric, chives, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and a generous pinch of pepper until well combined. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, toss together cooled, cooked lentils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, oil, and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Gently fold in greens, asparagus, and basil.
Spread yogurt mixture over bottom of serving platter and spoon lentil mixture overtop. Garnish with Johnny Jump-Ups and serve immediately.
If you can’t find Johnny Jump-Ups, either marigold petals with their light citrusy flavour or pansy flowers with their sweet grassy notes would be excellent substitutes.