Lentil Salad

This salad is a nice break from the traditional, and great for potlucks and large gatherings.  You can serve it warm or cold, but I prefer it cold.  It’s also great over a large bed of crunchy, chopped Romaine lettuce, which is another great way to increase your intake of green leafy veggies!

Lentils are quick and easy to prepare and loaded with healthy micronutrients like Iron, Folate, B vitamins and Zinc.  They are low in fat and high in isoflavones and lignans which may block certain cancers and protect against heart disease.

There are several different varieties of lentils (brown, green, red, black).  The brown or green lentils are the ones most commonly found in the market.  If you can get your hands on some French green lentils, pick them up!  They are terrific in this salad; smaller and a bit firmer than the ones typically found in the supermarket.  I get them from Whole Foods.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1cup lentils

2 ½ cups water

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1 carrot, shredded

½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

½ small red onion, finely diced (can substitute 2 green onions, aka scallions)

Dressing

4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

3 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tablespoons finely chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, basil or cilantro)

Directions

1. Combine water and lentils in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, covered.  Then drain in a colander.  Rinse with cool water.

2. Combine cooked lentils with tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and onion in a large bowl.

3.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar, with a tight fitting lid, and shake.  Or, whisk together in a small bowl. 

4. Garnish top of salad with chopped herbs.