This is a healthy protein rich salad on a bed of greens, topped with tomatoes, chives and herbs then drizzled with tasty vinaigrette. This simple recipe has a lot of flexibility that can be altered to fit your mood or the occasion.
For instance, add spinach for extra iron, throw a sprig of cilantro for a spicy affair or enhance the salad with a favorite herb.
Speaking of lentils, if you are on a gluten free diet then this recipe will bring you out of the “same ol’ same ol” food blues. Mediterranean Lentil Salad will deliver inspiration to the table and remove the doldrums of the some old routine meals.
Oh, I forgot to mention the health benefits of lentils. This small little legume is a great source of both fiber and protein. Lentils also contain iron, potassium and magnesium. According to Mind Body Green, some of the health benefits include:
- Weight Loss
- Heart Health
- Good Protein
- Digestive Health
- Increases Energy
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Stabilizes Blood Sugar
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
- ½ cup red onion, minced
- ½ cup celery, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup yellow or green bell pepper, diced (optional)
- ¼ cup parsley, diced
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Arugula or favorite type of lettuce for the salad bed (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TBLS balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
- To cook lentils, add lentils and 4 cups filtered water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in bay leaves, thyme and garlic. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir occasionally. Remove bay leaves when lentils are cooked.
- In a small bowl, add sun dried tomatoes to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together onion, celery, bell pepper and parsley. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- When the sundried tomatoes are softened, drain and add to the vegetables.
- In a small to medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, fennel and garlic. Whisk until dressing is smooth
- Toss lentils with vegetables and vinaigrette. Add salt a pepper, to taste. To arrange, place a small portion of arugula or greens on a plate. Spoon the lentil mixture over the top. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes, parsley or thin slices of onion.
- Serve warm or cold
- Diet Type: Vegan
- Diet Tags: Gluten Free & Raw
Things You Might Need
Mind Body Green: 7 Health Benefits of Lentils
Lentil salad on clear plate with olive garnish: Turkish cuisine Wikipedia
Lentil salad in white bowl: Kurman Communications, Inc on flickr
Lentil salad served with rose: Julia Azzarello – Food Stylist