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Lentil Salad with Feta

Lentil Salad with Feta
Lentils absorb seasonings well and can be transformed into a variety of distinctive dishes. After making the cooked lentils for this salad, you can use the leftovers in a pasta and lentil soup or a spicy curry (see related recipes at left).

Ingredients:

For the cooked green lentils:

  • 1 lb. green lentils
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • About 5 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook the lentils
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, carrot, celery, yellow onion, parsley sprigs and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and discard the vegetables. Spoon out 2 1/2 cups of the lentils for the salad. Set aside the remaining lentils to cool before storing for later use (see Storage Tip below).

Prepare the salad
In a bowl, stir together the red onion, bell pepper, chopped parsley and the 2 1/2 cups lentils. Stir in the vinegar and olive oil. Add the feta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 (makes about 6 cups cooked lentils total).

Storage Tip: Store the cooked lentils in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is best not to freeze beans.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).