This simple lentil salad is easy to assemble and deliciously satisfying, a recipe from Ottolenghi that uses herbs, red onions and a light oil and vinegar dressing, to infuse the lentils with fresh delicate flavors. It works well as a side dish to accompany meat or fish, or as a vegetarian main dish.
I love serving this lentil salad as part of a summer buffet with grilled beef or fish. I particularly love lentils with salmon and, in fact, first started making this lentil salad as component of my salmon niçoise salad.
Lentils are highly nutritious, easy to prepare and adaptive to many different preparations, from aromatic Moroccan lentil soup to rich meaty stew. They can be eaten warm or cold. Dried lentils are a great pantry item to keep on hand. They can be stored in an airtight container for a year. When you're wondering what to make for dinner, you can easily throw together this nutritious tasty lentil salad. You probably already have all the other ingredients on hand: an onion, a garlic clove, vinegar, salt, pepper and some fresh herbs.
How To Make This Lentil Salad
This dish is ready in 30 minutes with only about ten minutes of hands-on work.
A thinly sliced red onion is soaked in vinegar, which softens the onion and mellows its flavor. Meanwhile the lentils are simmered for about 20 minutes, drained, and tossed with the onion and vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. When the lentils are cool, they're tossed with herbs and feta.
To Prepare This Salad Ahead:
If preparing this lentil salad in advance, cook the lentils, mix them with the onions, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Refrigerate them for up to two days. Bring the them to room temperature, and toss them with herbs and cheese just before serving.
Ottolenghi's Original Lentil Salad Recipe:
I adapted this lentil salad from a recipe in Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty. The original recipe calls for Castellucio lentils from Umbria, and includes oven-dried tomatoes and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. All delicious I'm sure! But Ottolenghi's lentil salad is also quite wonderful pared down to this very simple preparation with vinegar-soaked onions and fresh herbs.
Which Lentils are Best for Lentil Salad?
While I agree that Castellucio Lentils have some wonderful attributes - such as holding their shape beautifully when cooked - I've found this salad to be equally delicious using brown, green or French Le Puy lentils. If you can find Castellucio lentils, give them a try but feel assured that you will have great results using these other lentil options. I don't, however, advise using red lentils, as they are extremely delicate and won't hold their shape for a salad.
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- Mediterranean Rice Salad
- Thai Cucumber Salad
- Hearts of Palm Salad with Artichoke Hearts, cucumbers, avocados and Cherry Tomatoes
- Corn Tomato Avocado Salad
Here's the Ottolenghi Lentil Salad Recipe. If you try this I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print