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Lentil Salad?

rednails Sep 9, 2009 12:30 PM

I bought a package of pre-cooked lentils at Trader Joes, and now I'm at a loss as to what to make with it. I'm thinking a lentil salad, but haven't found a recipe that inspires me. Something Mediterranean-ish, not spicy as I want to serve it for company and don't think spicy would work for this group.

Does anyone have a good recipe they can share? Or is it really just a matter of adding my favorite vinaigrette and some veggies?


  1. cosmopolita Sep 10, 2009 10:26 AM

    Cauliflower and lentil salad scented orange

    1 small cauliflower, 250 g lentils, 1 orange
    For the emulsion: olive oil, salt and pepper, juice of half an orange, wild fennel


    Place the lentils in cold water with some celery and a clove of garlic, place them on low heat and cook remembering to add salt at the end.
    Cooking times vary (from 30 minutes to an hour) depending on the type of lens used (small and large, etc).
    Once cooked, drain and keep warm. You can use pre-cooked lentils :)

    Boil the cauliflower florets previously washed.

    Prepare the emulsion. Wipe the inside of a bowl with a clove of garlic, add the juice of half an orange, salt, pepper and wild fennel, chopped (you can use in lieu of fennel green beard). Emulsified with 6 tablespoons of oil.

    Peel orange and cut into slices. Put in a bowl along with the cauliflower florets, drain lentils, emulsion .

    You can watch the picture here:

    5 Replies
    1. re: cosmopolita
      rednails Sep 10, 2009 10:49 AM

      Thank you, that's a great recipe idea! And what a beautiful blog and photos! Tho I grew up in an Italian/Jewish neighborhood, I never learned the language beyond a few necessary phrases.

      1. re: rednails
        nomadchowwoman Sep 10, 2009 11:13 AM

        cosmopolita is so right--orange goes wonderfully with lentils.

        1. re: rednails
          cosmopolita Sep 10, 2009 11:20 AM

          And I never learned the English language. I'm trying now.
          Thank you :)

          1. re: cosmopolita
            rednails Sep 10, 2009 02:55 PM

            You're doing quite well! I'd love to read your blog in English!

            1. re: rednails
              cosmopolita Sep 10, 2009 11:46 PM

              Thank you :)
              If you want there is translator at the top right, just choose the language. Soon I hope to write directly in English.

      2. r
        rednails Sep 10, 2009 09:51 AM

        Thanks for all the tips, especially about maybe having to cook them extra and keeping everything diced small. I was sure I was overthinking it. I've got most of the ingredients, even the feta (which I love, love love) so it should be a snap to make.

        Thanks again!

        1. c
          cinnamon girl Sep 9, 2009 08:13 PM

          I like a very mustardy vinaigrette (tossed w the lentil while still warm if possible), shallots, small diced red pepper, crumbled feta, red onion . . . could toss in some capers if you like. For me the key to a lentil salad is to dice everything small b/c the lentils are so small.

          1. i
            inmetric Sep 9, 2009 05:37 PM

            lentils,chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and red onions. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Devour.

            1. DiveFan Sep 9, 2009 03:33 PM

              My, er Jeff Smiths, old standby is easy to get addicted to. Easy and FN quick. Good in hot weather.
              Lentils, lemon juice, green onions, Done! Optionally a little spice, garlic.
              Be sure to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

              1. a
                Allice98 Sep 9, 2009 03:18 PM

                I have taken that lentil package and added a grain (any cooked grain) and finely chopped red pepper, carrot, celery, fresh herbs. I have made a lemon vinagarette... very yummy, to me at least. serve slightly warm as in don't cool down the grains after cooking.

                Great with a poached egg on top.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Allice98
                  Allice98 Sep 9, 2009 04:52 PM

                  I forgot onion! I add in some raw onion... red

                2. greygarious Sep 9, 2009 01:59 PM

                  If they are the beluga lentils, they are not all that tender and can benefit from a little more cooking. I put them in soup toward the end - they add visual interest. Last time it was kielbasa/cabbage/apple/onion soup with orzo, which uses a chicken broth.

                  1. nomadchowwoman Sep 9, 2009 01:04 PM

                    For an easy salad, you could make a garlicky red wine vinaigrette and toss the lentils with the dressing, some chopped red onions and chopped Italian parsley. If you like olives, chop some of those and throw them in. You could also add some feta and toasted pine nuts. Toss the salad w/the dressing ahead of time to let the flavors meld. wou

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                      TongoRad Sep 9, 2009 02:01 PM

                      Yeah- this is definitely one of those dishes where you could just riff on the theme without really worrying about it. A constant would be the vinaigrette, onion, and fresh herbs (parsley, mint, marjoram, chives, etc.) for me. I also love adding the feta crumbled on top.

                      Lately I've been adding cubed, roasted sweet potatoes to the mix- along the lines of what I've had from a local Lebanese restaurant, as well as some cumin and a touch of cinnamon to the dressing. The sweetness is a nice touch, and I like the flavors better than adding raisins, which I've done in the past.

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