|(Brown lentils, Québec onions, carrots and garlic, |
parsley (from last year's garden), curry & cumin)
This salad has become a go-to dish. It is very simple to prepare, and can use any combination of vegetables, herbs and spices you happen to have on hand. I made it up a while back, and make it a little bit differently every time. Just the other night, I took it to a clothing exchange - a fantastic way to re-use and re-cycle clothes. The hostess asked for the recipe, so I typed up some general guidelines. Feel free to treat them as suggestions, and improvise to suit your own tastes.
- 1.5 cups lentils (cooked)
- A variety of vegetables (3 types minimum, chopped finely). Consider onions, garlic, carrots, radishes, celery, etc.
- A few pinches or dashes of the herbs of your choice: parsley, thyme, fennel, cilantro, etc.
- A pinch or dash of spices of your choice (optional): Curry powder, paprika, cumin, etc.
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- I prepare lentils as usual - boil water, add lentils, simmer until tender. But, be sure to pull them off the heat before they become too soft, or they will break down when you stir them. Any type of lentil will work, but keep an eye on them, as different types have different cooking times.
- When lentils are cooked, transfer to a colander, and rinse with cold water until they are cool to the touch. Set aside, or store in the fridge until ready to complete the salad. Lentils can be prepared several days in advance, if you wish.
- When you are ready to prepare the salad, make a mixture of about 50% lentils and 50% vegetables.
- Toss in olive oil and vinegar, using just enough to provide a light dressing.
- Add spices and herbs to taste, if you wish.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Check flavor prior to serving, just in case you want to add a bit more salt, or spices.
- This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week.
- This salad would probably be great as a dip or spread, if run through a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Organic or locally grown lentils may be available, ideally in bulk, at your local health food store.
- Try to use vegetables that are in season when preparing the salad (i.e. root veggies in the winter, etc.).
- Take a look at this Pesticides on Produce Guide, for an idea of which vegetables are recommended to be purchased organic.