Warm Lentils with Roasted Eggplant Salad

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In winter many of my favorite salads don’t include lettuce.  They are heartier, ressembling more of a comfort food while delivering a nutritional punch and tons of flavor.  A salad need not be served cold.  Keeping this in mind, the pantry holds so many delicious possibilities. Magic happens when a vinegary dressing is introduced into warm grains or legumes.  They come alive with big bold flavor.   Toss in roasted vegetables and fresh herbs for brightness and you’ve got a hearty flavorful meal in a bowl.  One of the most memorable lunches I ever had was also one of the simplest.  It was a warm salad of lentils enjoyed at  the Ritz Carleton Hotel in Philadelphia.  I have tired to recreate those lentils many times.  This recipe comes pretty close to the sublime dish that warmed a cold day and mended a bruised friendship.

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