This summer, I haven't stumbled across any. Be that as it may, I made it my aim to make a lentil salad myself that had all the positive elements of these other salads I saw. You know how it is -- you see a recipe and you like almost all of it. Or you taste a salad and think to yourself, wow, this is great except for X. Well, this is a Sarah-taste-bud-led creation.
This cold lentil salad is a wonderful dish for summer days when being in a warm kitchen, or eating a warm dinner, is last on our to-do list. It's an easy make-ahead main dish that's filling if you eat it with rice, or still great just as a side salad!
Cold Lentil Salad
Serves 6 main dishes, 10-12 side dishes (6 cups)
Active time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes (not including chill time of 2 hours)
Serving Suggestions: As a salad to a meal without a protein component, or over brown rice as a main dish with gazpacho on the side.
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup dry lentils, picked over and rinsed + 1 1/2 cups broth OR water
- 1 TBLS olive oil
- 1 TBLS lemon juice
- 1 1/2 TBLS red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 3/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup packed grated zucchini
- 1 diced red OR green bell pepper
- 1 cup finely diced carrot
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 scallions, sliced thin, for garnish (optional)
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (optional for main dish)
What you'll do:
- Cook lentils on the stove or in a rice cooker until soft. About 40 minutes. Drain if needed.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic. Set aside.
- Place all chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl with herbs, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Once lentils are done, add to the mixing bowl. Gently stir in the dressing and mix until everything is combined.
- Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
- Sprinkle sliced scallion on for garnish right before serving.
- Main dish option: serve over brown rice
Time tip: If you are going to make this a main dish, simply cook the rice and lentils together since they take the same amount of time to cook and skip the “serve over” step -- just eat it already mixed together!