Mediterranean Lentil Salad

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In this lentil salad we let them cool off in the fridge in a bath of dressing—in this case olive oil, lemon, and cumin. They absorb all of this wonderful flavor, which is heightened by the addition of red bell pepper, kalamata olives, parsley, and mint. Le Puy lentils are resilient little things that hold their shape well throughout the cooking process, making them perfect for a salad!

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lentils, French Le Puy
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (used during the cooking of the lentils)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded and diced small
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, rinsed and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Rinse the lentils well and place in a saucepan with bay leaves, 1 bruised garlic clove, oregano and cinnamon stick.
  2. Cover with water or broth by 2 inches and a generous pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, add the sea salt and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Drain.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, zest,cumin and salt in a small bowl. Toss the vinaigrette with the lentils, red bell pepper, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese if using, mint and parsley in a mixing bowl.
  5. Transfer to a large serving bowl or individual plates and serve at room temperature.
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