This savory and hearty lentil salad is perfect as a side dish or as a main. And the best part? You don't have to turn on your oven.
Summer is right around the corner. For us this poses the ubiquitous question of, "what can we cook, that doesn't involve turning on the oven?" When you live in a tiny-ass apartment, Summer means avoiding turning on the oven at all costs! This recipe is fast, cost effective, and delicious.
Lentils can get a bad wrap for being boring and flavorless, but this Mediterranean style salad is packed full of crunchy zucchini, creamy feta, and tangy Kalamata olives making it fantastic to bring along as a side dish on those socially-distanced picnics or to eat over the kitchen counter when it's too hot to do anything but pull something quick out of the fridge and chow down.
1 cup dried green lentils (soak at least 30 min in water before cooking)
1/2 a small red onion
1 Roma tomato
2 -3 cloves raw garlic
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1 medium or 2 small zucchini
6-7 baby Portabella mushrooms (optional)
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 tbs ACV
juice from 1 - 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tbs oregano
1 tsp. red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
**During these times, it is okay to get creative and use whatever greens you have on hand. We are by no means saying you must go to the grocery store and buy these specific items.
1: Soak lentils in water for minimum 30 mins.
2: While lentils are soaking (or really whenever you feel like it), thinly slice red onion and garlic, dice red pepper, and cut zucchini into cubes.
3: Heat a small pan over medium flames, add 1 tbs olive oil and toss in zucchini. Cook for 2-3 min seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano and chili flakes. They key is to cook the zucchini enough that it is still crunchy but not raw. When finished cooking set zucchini aside to cool.
4: When lentils are finished soaking, toss them in a large pot and fill with water until they are completely submerged. Cook them on medium heat until tender but not mushy; about 12-15 mins. When finished, drain them and set them to the side to cool.
5: Roughly chop your parsley, slice olives however you prefer, and crumble feta.
6: Add lentils to a large bowl and drizzle with remaining olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper before adding veggies. Lentils will taste bland on their own, so we want to season as we go.
7: Toss in all veggies, season with salt and pepper again, add acv, and toss.
8: Add crumbled feta and parsley; adjust seasoning as needed.
Enjoy, you did it!
This salad is good to last in the fridge for up to a week if covered tightly or placed in an air-tight container. We personally love it as a side to a nice piece of fish or over a bed of greens covered in our Caesar dressing (see Kale Caesar Salad post for recipe). Lentils are an amazing source of iron, fiber, and folic acid, so no matter how you choose to consume your lentils, enjoy, and avoid turning on that oven at all costs!