Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Greek Lentil Salad

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone with a food-related post to share: Book reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button, head over to Beth Fish Reads, and link up anytime over the weekend.

Before heading to the grocery store checkout, I like to make a quick pass through Wegmans book and magazine aisle. Their selection is second only to Barnes & Noble and I have been known to make an occasional impulse purchase - usually a cooking magazine.

It was Vegetarian Times that caught my eye last week. Since Margaret has become a vegetarian, I've been on a quest to expand my meatless recipe repertoire. The June 2011 issue has several interesting ideas, but with summer salad season just around the corner, I decided to try the Greek Lentil Salad first.



1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 small onion
2 bay leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 small cucumber, diced (1 cup)
2 medium tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Place lentils, onion, bay leaves, and 6 cups water in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain, remove onion and bay leaves, and cool.

2. Stir together shallot and lemon juice in large bowl. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 1 hour, or overnight. Serve topped with feta.

Serves 4

My Notes:

  • The organic green lentils (from Wegmans) cooked in just 20 minutes.
  • I skipped the shallot.
  • When served with lettuce and a tomato, this was perfect for lunch. 
  • I'm sure it would also be a welcome addition to the potato or macaroni salads usually served at summer barbecues.

This is my May submission for the The Foodie Challenge.


Anonymous said...

Yum. I've never had lentils in a salad...I've always thought they were just for soup.

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

Love lentils, would love to try this! Looks delicious.

Col (Col Reads) said...

I've been thinking of subscribing to Vegetarian Times. This looks like a great recipe!

Vasilly said...

I don't think I've ever had lentils, so I might need to give this salad a try.

Nan said...

And it looks so beautiful!!! My Margaret went just the opposite way. Tom and I are the vegetarians in this family. :<)

Darlene said...

It's just about lunchtime here and that looks delicious! While not a vegetarian, I was the only kid in a group begging for everyone's lima beans from their bowls of Campbell's vegetable soup.

caite said...

I don't use enough lentils...are French lentils different than 'regular lentils? Maybe this is why I do noyt use more lentils....

Peaceful Reader said...

The cover of June's Vegetarian Times was especially beautiful so I can understand why you were pulled to purchase. It is worth subscribing to it. I look forward to it every month. I love lentils and planned to make this salad-thanks for test-tasting it. Now I know it will be worth it.

Heather said...

Lentils are a wonderful and versatile food. My fav are the green ones used here.

Anonymous said...

We just recently started eating lentils, and that looks really good. Don't know about the feta though.

Here's my WC

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

1. I miss Wegman's!
2. Yum - photo looks delicious!
3. See #1. Truly, THE BEST grocery store chain.

Margot said...

I'm not fond of lentils but my oldest daughter loves them so I'll share your link with her. My husband and I are attempting to go meatless one to two days a week. I know that's not the same as vegetarian but I'm going to look for this magazine. It sounds like it has some good suggestions I can use.

Joy Weese Moll said...

What a pretty salad! I love that the lentils make this seem like a main dish.

Staci said...

I love your presentation of this dish..I would definitely try it!

Uniflame said...

I never ate lentils before. Maybe I should one day :)

Care said...

This looks fabulous. I assume the lemon juice gives it a bit of zip?

Diann said...

Yum1 I will have to try this. I love all Greek flavors!

JoAnn said...

Softdrink - Lentils are not just for soup any more!

Caol - Let me know what you think if you decide to give it a try.

Col - I may end up subscribing, too.

Vasilly - I've always had them in soup, but recently tried them in sloppy joes and now this salad. Lentils are really pretty versatile.

Nan - Leave it to a Margaret to choose her own path ;-)

Darlene - Limas are the only bean I've never developed a taste for, but my husband loves them. Poor guy... don't think I've ever cooked them for him.

Caite - I'm not exactly sure what 'French' lentils are. Green and red lentils are available here, and I chose to use green.

Peaceful Reader - I'd be curious to hear how your family likes this.

Heather - I really like green lentils, too. Will try the red ones soon.

JoAnn said...

Faith - My daughter says it's very good without the feta. That's added at the end, so it would be very easy to leave out.

Dawn - Oh, I agree... Wegmans is THE BEST!!

Margot - I really want to have one or two meatless days each week, but I can't get my husband to go along with that program.

Joy Weese Moll - Thank you. This was one of the most visually appealing salads I've ever made.

Staci - My husband didn't really like this, but the girls all did. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

Uniflame - You should definitely give lentils a try!

Care - Yes, the lemon really added to the taste. I might even add a little more next time.

Diann - Anything Greek is usually a hit here, too!

Darlene said...

This sounds great JoAnn. I really love vegetarian dishes as I'm not really fond of meat. I'll have to try this one.

JoAnn said...

Darlene - I've been enjoying more and more vegetarian dishes. Hope you like this one!

Beth F said...

This definitely looks good for summer -- I'll have to try it at my next picnic/

Nan said...

Funny you should write that about 'Margarets' - years before she arrived we chose the name. Every one we knew or heard of or read of or saw in a film was strong. I love the name so much.

JoAnn said...

Nan - We love the name, too! Before she was born, we considered the nickname Meg, but within hours it was obvious she was a MARGARET :-)