Summer Lentil Salad
I grew up eating lentils during the winter. The hearty, earthy, and warm brown disks made their way into my heart through my Mom’s sausage and lentil stew (another Nigella treat, I believe). Simmering in red wine and all the goodness of a full-fat sweet Italian (sausage, not boy) I could never get enough.
Leave it to me to have never cooked lentils and then crave them on a day I am wearing my favorite summer dress. Typical WSS.
What is so fabulous about lentils, as compared to other items in the “dried bean aisle”, is that they don’t require soaking. Just 20 minutes simmering away and they are perfectly al dente.
I love to make a huge vat of them, whether they are brown, red, or yellow, and stick them in the fridge. Because you know what really floats my boat? Lentil salads! Something typically made from leftover lentils, I tend to cook up a batch of legumes specifically to make lentil salad, then will use the leftovers reheated in a warm dish. Call me crazy, but its the right thing to do.
Substitute lentils in any of your favorite pasta or rice salads. High in protein, fiber, and iron they are teeny tiny nutritional power houses (much more so than their carby-er salad counterparts). Plus they make such a quick weeknight meal, they are seriously hard to say no to. Lentils and I are at the beginning of a wonderful, summer relationship.
Summer Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad
1 cup dry lentils
3 cups water
2 oz crumbled goats cheese
10 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the lentils, turn the heat down to low, and simmer with the lid tilted for 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and put in a bowl in the fridge to cool.
Once the lentils are cold, roughly chop the cucumber, tomatoes, and scallion. Add them to the lentils with the rest of the ingredients and toss until everything is thoroughly mixed. Serve with some grilled chicken or atop mixed greens.
Monday is finally over, and I have a bowl of this to accompany me in celebration. Such a good night.