Warm French Lentil Salad with Dijon
Lentils are a common ingredient in the Mediterranean diet and for good reason. They are hearty, filling, a good source of plant-based protein and relatively inexpensive. This recipe calls for green lentils because they hold up their shape better when cooked than some other varieties. You could also use pre-cooked lentils found in the produce section of some grocery stores to save yourself even more time. The lentils in this recipe are simply dressed with a warm, zesty, Dijon-based vinaigrette that will have you licking your bowl clean. Serves 4
2 cups small dried green lentils
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh chives
Place the green lentils in a large pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. The lentils should be soft and tender, but not mushy. Once the lentils are cooked, drain them and place them in a large bowl.
While the lentils are cooking, create your Dijon dressing. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Pour the Dijon dressing directly over the bowl of warm, cooked lentils and mix well. Allow the salad to cool just slightly before adding the parsley and chives.
Tip: Buying dried lentils in the bulk bins at most grocery stores is an inexpensive way to purchase only the amount you need.
Reprinted with permission from The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy by Brynn McDowell, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Brynn McDowell