I have made this salad a number of times. The recipe, copied from the Almost Vegetarian cookbook, is safely embedded in a plastic sleeve inside my “do-over” 3-ring recipe binder. But, each time I make it, I ask myself, “Lentils…do I really like you?”
I really WANT to like lentils, which is why I keep making lentil recipes, I am just not sure how much I do. I have a little test for just these cases. It goes something like this…If lentils were as bad for you as custard filled donuts or red velvet cake, would you ever eat them again?
Probably I am just being bratty towards lentils because I am trying to take a little hiatus from baked goods and sweets while I trim off a few unwanted pounds this summer. The poor lentils shouldn’t have to take the heat!
This is a good summer recipe, stays in the refrigerator for days if not a week and has made many a picnic-goer happy. Next time, I think I will try it with red lentils or French lentils which I find more flavorful.
Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta
2 whole cloves
1 white or yellow onion, peeled and halved
2 cups uncooked lentils, picked over and well rinsed
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 large Belgian endive, cored and leaves separated
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon walnut oil
6 large sundried tomatoes (dry packed, minced)
1 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced celery or fennel
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Stick a clove in each half of the onion. Put them in a saucepan with lentils, sliced garlic and bay leaf. Add water to cover by 2 inches.
Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low to let the mixture simmer, covered until tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Check and add water as needed.
When lentils are cooked, take the pan off heat and remove onion, cloves and bay leaf. Transfer lentils to large bowl and let cool. Meanwhile, set out 4 plates and arrange endive leaves in a star pattern.
Whisk together vinegar, oil and stir into lentils. Toss in tomatoes, feta, onion and celery or fennel. Season with pepper. Spoon onto plates in middle of endive.
Comments: I have used olive oil in absense of walnut oil. And, I prefer the fennel to the celery. Finally, as you can see from the photo, I skipped the endive as well.