This fantastic Lentil Salad is very hearty, simple and incredibly delicious.Take your taste buds to the refreshing flavors of Italy. Easy super-food!Lentils are low in fat, high in nutrition and absolutely delicious when they are prepared well. They are a great, filling alternative to refined carbohydrates and a lovely vegetarian or vegan option too. This lentil salad is made all the more delicious by the wealth of flavours that are included in the recipe. Bell peppers, black olives and crumbled goat’s cheese make for an interesting taste adventure that will surprise anyone who thinks lentil salad is boring!
Like most legumes, lentils must be thoroughly rinsed before you can start preparing them. Place them in a colander and rinse them until the water runs clear and bubble free. Dispose of any residue that you are left with. Next, it’s time to boil the lentils. Bring them to boiling point along with the water, and make sure that you add a bay leaf or two, salt and celery to infuse the lentils with a tasty flavor. This usually takes about half an hour, but check the instructions on the packaging to make sure they are cooked to their optimal texture.
Now for the vegetables! You can opt for warm, roasted vegetables or exchange them for crisp, summery varieties in your lentil salad. Finely chopped cucumber, tomato and fresh herbs add a firm texture and a refreshing flavour to lentil salad while roasted onion, butternut, bell peppers and even potatoes make for a hearty, filling meal. With either option, it’s good to kick off the roasting while the lentils are being brought to the boil. Serve the lentil salad hot or cold, depending on the occasion and the weather, of course. If you choose to serve the salad cold, make sure that the separate ingredients cool separately.
Red onion has a unique, sweet flavour, while yellow or brown onion softens beautifully in the oven. You can also use fresh, finely chopped spring onion, particularly if you’re opting for a summery version of lentil salad. Get creative with vegetables such as aubergine or zucchini, fruits such as sliced mango, and condiments such as sriracha, salsa or chutney. Adding nuts to lentil salad gives it a delightful crunch. Dill, cilantro and parsley give it a fresh, lightly tangy flavour and grated lemon or orange rind add a delicious zest to lentil salad.
Once the ingredients have been combined, its time to fry the sliced black olives. Exchange these for chickpeas if you prefer. Fry them in ample olive oil so that you can pour the residue into the salad as a dressing. Once they’ve been prepared, add them to the salad and toss the ingredients of the lentil salad together. The final touch is to crumble a generous amount of goat’s cheese on top of the salad. Exchange it for soft Danish feta if you’re in the mood for something milder or blue Roquefort if you’re feeling adventurous.
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, why not fry up some lentil burgers for the next day? Serve as a side or a light main, depending on the bulk of the ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL SALADPrint
ITALIAN LENTIL SALAD (INSALATA DI LENTICCHIE)
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Cooking lentil
- Green Lentils ( uncooked)- ½ cup
- Celery stalk -1
- Bay leaf-1
- Salt -to taste
- Black pepper- to taste
- Water - as indicated on the package
- For Salad
- Red bell pepper ( large)- 1
- Green bell pepper( large)- 1
- Onion- 1 large
- Black olives- 4 tbsp
- Crumbled goat cheese- 3-4 tsp
- Olive oil- 3 tbsp
- Wash and rinse the lentils thoroughly. Remove any debris and discard.
- Boil lentils in a saucepan covered with water, with 1 bay leaf, 1 celery stalk, salted. Cook 30 minutes or as indicated on package.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 225 C / 420 F with the rack in the center. Place the bell peppers & onion on the rack, bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Chop them finely.
- Allow lentils to cool before assembling the salad.
- Transfer the cooked lentils to a large bowl. Add the baked & chopped veggies.Mix well.
- In a small pan, heat olive oil and fry olives on high heat.
- Add the fried olives to the salad.
- Sprinkle it with coarsely crumbled goat cheese.
- Adjust salt and pepper.
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
a pan, oven
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Category: Salads/ Vegan
- Cuisine: Italian
Enjoy the Lentil salad!
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