If I ever took this off the menu at my Manhattan restaurant, Little Beet, there would be a lot of long faces. It all started with a meal I had at Public, a great restaurant in the East Village. Before then, I had never given much thought to cold or room-temperature lentils, but the wonderful chef Brad Farmerie made an insanely flavorful lentil dish. I realized that, as with so many healthful ingredients, if you add bright flavors, it really wakes them up. Here you get a big citrus burst from the orange and lushness from the avocado. If you are not yet convinced that lentils can be more than meh, once you try this, you will agree I am not overselling. This is a keeper. — Franklin Becker, Good Fat Cooking
How to Make Ginger Juice: Peel a piece of fresh ginger and grate it into a bowl. Wrap the grated ginger in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze the juice back into the bowl.
In a medium pot over low heat, combine the onion and oil and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and water, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain and discard the bay leaf and garlic. Place the cooked lentils on a baking sheet and cool to room temperature.
In a serving bowl, combine the cooked lentils, avocado, orange, and pecans and lightly toss. Add the kale, parsley, and lemon zest. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, ginger juice, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the lentil mixture and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature.