Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, and while you can make extremely hearty, heavier dishes with lentils, you can also make some great light salads like this one.
More often than not, I tend to see lentils in the colder months; dishes like lentil soup or hot lentils as an accoutrement to fish or another light protein to make the dish a bit heartier. Served at room temperature, this salad shows a lighter side of lentils and is a great transition dish as the weather starts to get colder this fall. Now, I am definitely not knocking a good ‘ol bowl of hearty lentil soup with some sausage in there, because in the winter, I’m all about that, but it just isn’t cold enough outside for that yet.
There is a slight difference in how you want to cook lentils for a soup or stew versus a salad like this. You want mushier, more well-cooked lentils for a soup, so you don’t really have to bite through them, but for a salad like this, you want to keep them al dente and slightly undercooked. The main reason why is because you don’t want them to mush together as you mix the salad. With undercooked lentils, each part of this salad will keep it’s individual taste, plus, it will look better!
Lentil, Grape, and Feta Salad
Yield 2 servings
- 1/4 cup uncooked lentils (I prefer French)
- 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I toast these first. Pine nuts and pistachios are also great substitutes!)
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half or smaller
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (preferably fresh)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta (or cut into cubes)
- Cook the lentils according to the directions on the package (usually about 30 minutes). Then drain and rinse them under cold water.
- Once cooked, combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Be careful not to over mix the lentils if they're even slightly overcooked, because they will get mushy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Modified from MarthaStewart.com
Courses Lunch or Dinner