Lentils are a truly healthful food, high in protein and potassium and low in fat. This salad recipe is super simple and very versatile. It can be served as a side dish, warm or chilled, or as a main course using one of the variations we suggest below.Print
- 1–1/2 cups lentils
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water (or combination)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- Pinch of dried oregano
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the lentils, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and bay leaves in a large pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes. or until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and dried oregano. Add to the lentils along with the green onion and red bell pepper and mix thoroughly. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before adding the tomato and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
To make this salad a main course:
Meatless Main Dish:
Omit the sherry vinegar and replace it with the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 6 ounces of crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 cup chopped, pitted olives (preferably a mix of green and black).
Spanish-style Main Dish:
Omit the oregano and add 1/4 lb each of cooked chorizo and manchego cheese cut into small chunks, 1/4 cup toasted almond slices and a pinch of smoked paprika.
Both of these main dish variations make 4 generous servings.