Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Black Olives & Mint

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1 C dried French lentils (lePuy) rinsed well and picked over

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

2 bay leaves

¼ t dried oregano

1 cinnamon stick or ¼ t. ground cinnamon

 

Combine the lentils, garlic, oregano, bay leaf and cinnamon in a saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain the lentils well and discard the whole spices.

 

¼ C olive oil

1 T rice vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)

2 T fresh lemon juice, more to taste

1 t lemon zest

½ t ground cumin

Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin and salt together. Toss the lentils with this vinaigrette and let stand while preparing vegetables.

 

1 red pepper, diced small

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small

¼ C pitted black olives, sliced in half or quarters (Kalamata or Moroccan)

3 T fresh mint, chopped

½ C (2 ounces)feta cheese, crumbled

 

Add the chopped vegetables to the lentils, stir gently. Adjust seasoning for salt and pepper or fresh lemon juice.

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Lentil Salad with Fennel and Smoked Salmon

lentil

 

The weather of late is calling more for salads than soup. We know of course that’s going to change. This salad is like a bridge — or maybe a hybrid (hybridge?). It marries tastes of the season — smoked salmon anyone? — hardy fare — lentils, after all — with light treatment in a wonderful Asian-inspired dressing. It seems an unlikely combination but don’t be fooled. You’ll enjoy it for lunch or as a dinner with soup (when the inevitable chill comes back) and crusty bread. The original recipe is from Fine Cooking.

2 C cooked lentils (Melissa’s or Trader Joe’s)
1 medium clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press
Kosher salt
½ medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1½ Tbs.)
3 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (use small holes on a box grater)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. fennel seed, busted up in a mortar and pestle
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup oil (canola or olive)
9 small radishes, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
½ small bulb fennel, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup), plus 1 Tbs. chopped fennel fronds
chopped parsley
4 oz. cold-smoked salmon, cut into ½-inch squares (about ½-cup)

Whisk garlic, shallot, vinegar, ginger, mustard, fennel seed, 1½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Whisk in the oil.

In a large bowl, toss the lentils, radishes, fennel, fennel fronds, and chives with just enough of the vinaigrette to coat everything lightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (You can prepare the salad to this point up to 4 hours ahead.) Just before serving, gently stir in the salmon and a few grinds of pepper. Garnish with parsley.


Farro Soup with Curry Powder, Lentils and Salted Lemon Yogurt

farro

 

Packed with flavor and protein, this soup is a meal unto itself — just add crusty bread and a fruity cobbler for dessert and you’ll be feasting on comfort food at its best — and so so healthy! You’ll be ready to run a marathon the next morning — especially if you repeat for breakfast. This is from from “Super Natural Every Day,” by Heidi Swanson, which you might want to consider putting under the tree of your favorite cook (you know who that is). It was adapted by Danielle for a cooking class at Brookside November 18 2015.

2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 C peeled, diced sweet potato or butternut squash
Sea salt
1 T plus 2 t Indian curry powder
2/3 C farro
1 ¼ C green or black lentils, picked over and rinsed
6-8 C low sodium vegetable broth
1 C plain yogurt of Greek-style yogurt
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and sweet potato. Add a big pinch of salt and sauté until the onions soften a bit, a couple of minutes. Add the curry powder; stir until onions and sweet potatoes are coated and the curry is fragrant, a minute or so. Add the farro, lentils and 6 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, if needed. (Don’t under-salt or the soup will taste flat.) While the soup is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve each bowl of soup topped with a dollop of lemon yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 8-10.


Mediterranean Lentil Salad

lentilAdapted from Rebecca Katz, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen

1 C dried lentils
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small
¼ C pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 T fresh mint, chopped
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1 T brown rice vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
1 t cumin
½ t sea salt
¼ C olive oil

Begin by cooking the lentils: rinse them well, put them in a saucepan and cover in water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat, and simmer until tender, 20-25 minutes. While the lentils are simmering, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drain the lentils thoroughly and toss with the dressing, then refrigerate for 20 minutes to cool and allow the dressing to soak into the lentils.

Chop the pepper, cucumber, olives, mint and parsley and add to the lentils. Adjust for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve. Store in an airtight container 3-5 days. Serves 6.

(Note: cooked lentils can be found in the produce section of many grocery stores. If you choose to use them, warm them in the microwave before tossing with the dressing. The warm lentils will absorb the dressing better and soften the lentils. You will need 2 cups cooked.)