Pink lentils add pretty color and texture to this salad. Cook them al dente (like pasta) so they remain firm when tossed with the dressing.
Southern Living MARCH 2013
1. Rinse fennel thoroughly. Trim and discard root end of bulb. Trim stalks from bulb, and chop fronds to equal 1/4 cup; reserve stalks and remaining fronds for another use. Thinly slice bulb, and toss with oranges, pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and let stand until ready to use.
2. Meanwhile, cut asparagus tips into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut stalks diagonally into thin slices, discarding tough ends.
3. Bring 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. Bring 3 cups water and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in saucepan over medium heat. Add lentils; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well, and rinse with cold water. Toss lentils with 1/4 cup Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette.
5. Combine lettuces, parsley, asparagus, fennel mixture, and fennel fronds in a large bowl; toss with remaining vinaigrette. Spoon lentils onto a serving platter; top with asparagus mixture.
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