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1 lb carrots, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup dry lentils
1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed if they are visible
4 oz feta cheese, medium dice
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Juice from 1/2 large lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the carrots into 3/4 inch slices on a bias, and then cut each slice in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet pan for 10-15 minutes, or until dark golden brown, flipping halfway. Cool.

While the carrots are roasting, prepare the lentils per the package’s directions. Season with salt toward the end of cooking. Cool.

And while that’s all going down, cut the cucumber halves into half-moon slices and combine with the feta and parsley. Add the cooled carrots and lentils to the mixture and gently stir. Add lemon juice and a glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

I’d say this is nice as a snack, but can also be a satisfying vegetarian main entree for the spring and summer seasons.

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Last year, this was the best salad. This year, some of the same elements remain, but have been reworked into the Best Salad of 2013. Unless I come up with something better. And then that’ll be the new best. I make up the rules, so…

I visited one of my best friends in Philadelphia this weekend. She wanted to make a salad using precooked lentils from Trader Joe’s, but needed some ideas. I offered to make this super easy, fresh salad that took no time to put together.

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1 package precooked lentils, or about 2 cups cooked French green lentils
1 hothouse cucumber, julienne
1 small bunch mint, roughly chopped
5 oz feta cheese, medium dice
Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently stir to combine.