It's spring, and I have come back to life. The earth is warming, birds are chirping and ... suddenly salad tastes good again. This salad is a variation on another lentil salad I have made for years. I tweaked the seasonings to make it taste something like the filling for dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Let me tell you, this salad hit the spot. This salad made my palate sing. It brought me back to life. Ok, ok, just make it, already.
The cast of characters:
In a bowl, mix 1 c. sliced radishes, 1/2 c. chopped carrots, 1/2 c. chopped green apple, and 1/4 c. chopped fresh mint. I would have added parsley, but I didn't have any. If you have some, add that stuff in there! And once your mint patch gets going this summer, add a whole heck of a lot more mint if you like!
On the stove, get going:
These are green lentils. I cooked 1 cup of them, in about 2 quarts of water. To the water, I added a bullion cube just for extra flavor. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. You want them to be soft, but not turn into mush. I also cooked up some rice. I used 3/4 c. of white rice and 1 1/4 c. water, with a pinch of salt. You could easily substitute brown rice here, if that floats your boat.
When the lentils are done cooking, just pour them through a strainer to strain off the liquid. I rinsed mine off with cold water to cool them off and stop the cooking process. To cool off my rice quickly, I spread it out on a cookie sheet for several minutes.
Then, I mixed up my original lemon-olive oil dressing:
This is: 4 T. olive oil, 3 T. fresh lemon juice, the grated zest of one lemon, 1/2 t. herbs de provence seasoning, 1 t. brown mustard, 2 t. honey, and 1 t. salt. Whisk that all together. Then, you just stir the grains and the dressing into the veggies! You can check the taste and see if it needs more salt.
And voila ... instant spring in a salad. I served mine cold with a whole wheat tortilla. It has complete protein, veggies, and the lemon zest makes it taste so bright and cheerful. It is also great the next day for lunch. It made me so happy to eat this.
Enjoy in good health, and happy spring!
I'm a school librarian, cookbook author, and longtime fan of food and literature. Welcome to my blog!