Fresh and Delicious – Italian Lentil Salad
I try to make a variety of dishes so my family doesn’t get bored with the same old fare. The problem with this….I often forget what our favorite dishes were and never make them again. That was one of the goals of this blog, I hoped it would help me remember what our favorites were but also allow me to share them with family and friends. Little did I know that I would make some new friends and be sharing recipes with many others in the process. Win-win for all!!!
This salad is one that I stumbled upon and reluctantly made last summer. I’m not a huge fan of lentils, I’ve only ever had them a couple times prior in a premade meal provided by a diet food company when I was following The Zone diet. They were mushy and mealy with a soggy piece of fish on top….and I had to microwave this dish….and then consume it. It was a successful diet mostly because the food was terrible, hardly edible. I would have rather starved. Good thing the portions were only large enough to feed a rabbit.
The Italian Lentil Salad is wonderfully refreshing! It’s perfect for a summer barbeque since it doesn’t contain mayonnaise and the light lemon dressing is just enough to give it some tang. The lentils hold up very well and pair suprisingly well with the grapes. The original recipe doesn’t call for radishes but I like their peppery bite against the sweetness of the grapes. This may just be your go to dish for a picnic or a potluck!
You can use dried lentils but I prefer buying mine already cooked. Some grocery stores sell them packaged in the produce department, I purchase mine from Trader Joe’s.
Italian Lentil Salad – slightly adapted from Giada DeLaurentis
- 1 pound lentils (recommended: Sabarot)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup halved seedless green grapes
- 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes. (If you’re using packaged, cooked lentils you’ll only need to rinse and drain them.) Place lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.
For the Vinaigrette:
Place the lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well.