lentil greek salad

greek salad

filling yet light and fresh

Greek salad is one of our household’s favourites. It is a great balance of crunchy fresh vegetables and salty savoury bites from the olives and feta, with hints of sweetness and tanginess from the dressing. One night, I decided to beef it up with some red lentils. It paired really well with pan seared salmon and was a very satisfying dinner. My mom happened to be visiting, and she liked it so much that when she went home she bought a huge bag of red lentils and made it for my dad and brother. And they loved it! This is one of those salads that do well in the fridge and tastes even better for lunch the next day.

prep: 10 min   cook: 10 min   yield: 4

what you need:

  • 3/4 cup dry red lentils
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled light feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives

dressing

  • 1/2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, and zest
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • small pinch of salt (you could omit this, as the olives and feta are quite salty!)
  • freshly ground pepper

what to do:

  1. Rinse lentils with cold water. Bring a pot with 2 1/4 cups water to a boil, then add lentils and reduce to low heat (simmer) – cover with a lid. Red lentils are quick cooking so keep an eye on them. I simmered mine for about 10 minutes – I like to cook them on the al dente side, especially for a salad (you don’t want mushy lentils in this salad!) – that way, they still have bit of texture to them.
  2. While lentils are cooking, wash cucumber, tomato and pepper thoroughly and cut them into small bite size chunks. Peel onion and chop as well – I find too much onion in a salad too strong so I only used about 1/4 of a small red onion. Keeping the veggie sizes relatively consistent makes your salad easier to eat and very appetizingly appealing!
  3. If the olives are not pitted, you may want to use a paring knife to cut off the flesh and remove the pits.
  4. In your salad bowl, add all dressing ingredients except for the honey.  Whisk to combine.
  5. Add your cut veggies to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing.
  6. When lentils are done – add honey to the warm lentils. Use a fork to mix – be gentle and toss/fold lightly until most of the steam has escaped and the lentils have soaked up the honey.
  7. Add warm lentils to the salad bowl, toss to combine, then add olives and feta. Mix with a large serving spoon to combine everything. Serve and enjoy!
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