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Summer Lentil Salad

June 14, 2010

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

1/2 cucumber

10 cherry tomatoes

1 scallion

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 9:35 pm

    My husband would go CRAZY for this!! He is so in love with lentils that I think they’ve got something going on the side, haha! 😉 I’ll have to make this sometime soon!!

  2. June 14, 2010 11:39 pm

    WOW this is crazy delicious!! i LOVE lentil salads- so perfect in this weather too!

    i love how creamy it looks too! 🙂

  3. June 15, 2010 4:53 am

    This is great. Funnily enough, when I was growing up, my mother would regularly make dhal (as I still do) and we quickly learned that cold dhal with bread was just as delicious as warm with rice.
    Lentils you see 🙂

  4. June 15, 2010 7:42 am

    this sounds crazy good, and would you know that goat cheese is my FAVORITE!!

  5. June 15, 2010 8:17 am

    I’ve never had lentil salad, but it sounds like a really good idea!

  6. June 15, 2010 9:21 am

    love the updated look! that goat salad looks really good! Although I try to eat vegan often, goat cheese is one of my favorite treats!

  7. June 15, 2010 3:46 pm

    I’m def going to have to try this. I love goat cheese and really want to start eating more lentils.

  8. June 15, 2010 8:27 pm

    Oh yum! I’ve been seeing lentils everywhere lately, but this is definitely one of the best recipes. Goat cheese is a huge fave of mine and this salad is just so pretty!

  9. June 16, 2010 9:27 am

    This looks crazy good!!! I think I found my first lentil dish I want to make! I don’t know why but I’ve never made lentils, I’ve had htem at restaurants and loved them but have never cooked them. This needs to change 🙂

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