I’m addicted to grain/legume salads these days (see here, plus there will be more to come). Easy to whip up, a great way to use miscellaneous vegetables languishing and neglected in the crisper drawer, perfect for warm summer weather (which will come to SF at some point, right?). What’s not to like? In terms of a family dinner, this falls into the questionable category – dishes that I offer many times before they become a hit. I’ll ask the girls to try a few bites of the regular version, but likely keep on hand the various ingredients in their separated form in case the “yuck” factor strikes. Aim for color with the vegetable mix and also crunch. Eventually they’ll come around. I hope!
Mix 2-2.5 cups of cooked lentils*** (french or beluga lentils would be best here, or a mix) with 1-2 cups of mixed chopped vegetables. In my version, I used cooked fava beans, sliced cheery tomatoes, chopped hearts of palm for a tangy contrast, radishes, carrots, a few turnips. English or sugar snap peas would also be perfect additions, as would fresh corn, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. Add a combination of chopped herbs you have some on hand: parsley, cilantro, mint and tarragon would be great choices.s Toss with lemon juice or your favorite vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. If desired, add crumbled goat cheese, feta or Mexican cotija cheese.
*** I tend to rely on Trader Joe’s prepared lentils to make this salad extra easy. If you don’t have access to this product, make your own:
Place about 1 pound of french lentils to a large pot of water. Pierce a small onion with a few whole cloves (optional) and add it to the lentils, along with 3 dried bay leaves, and one large diced carrot. Cover by at least 2 inches of water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until lentil are soft but intact. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper and drain.