Joanne Weir’s Green Lentil and Red Pepper Salad Recipe with Red Onion, Mint, and Feta
When I removed the book from it’s mail-order wrapping it fell open to the page with this salad of French green lentils, red pepper, mint, and feta and I told myself I had to make the salad, but when the book opened to that page a second time a few days later, I felt the universe was indeed nudging me to try it. I even had a jar with some of the tiny green lentils recommended (although I’d thrown away the package, so I don’t know if they’re the true Lentilles de Puy.) I do think this salad would still be good with ordinary brown lentils, but if you haven’t tried green French lentils, you should experience their delicious nutty flavor, and they hold their shape and texture much better in a salad like this.
Joanne Weir’s Green Lentil and Red Pepper Salad with Red Onion, Mint, and Feta
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe from From Tapas to Meze – Small Plates from the Mediterranean, very slightly adapted by Kalyn.)
1 cup dried lentils, preferably Green French Lentils de Puy
3 bay leaves
4 large cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. dried oregano (or more, I used about 1/2 tsp.)
1 red onion, chopped into pieces about 1/4 inch
1 red bell pepper, chopped into pieces about 1/4 inch
5 T finely chopped mint (or more, I used about 1/2 cup mint)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
(original recipe called for a garnish of chopped Kalamata olives, which I didn’t use)
6 T good quality olive oil
6 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice (optional, original recipe didn’t use this but I liked the addition of lime)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or more, I used about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
Rinse lentils and pick out any broken pieces or debris. Place lentils in a pan with enough water to cover by several inches, then add bay leaves, garlic, and oregano and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender but still firm and slightly chewy. Drain well and cool.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
While lentils are cooling, chop onion and red bell pepper Put cooled lentils in a bowl, add red onion and red pepper, then gently stir in dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or vinegar if desired. Let salad marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Just before serving, chop mint and add to salad. Sprinkle salad with chopped feta and serve.
If this makes more than you will be eating at one time, I thought the salad was still good after being in the fridge for a couple of days, but don’t add the feta until just before serving.
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South Beach Suggestions:
Lentils and other types of dried beans are a great low-glycemic food for the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic eating plan, and everything in this salad is approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet. (I would recommend you use less Feta for South Beach.) This would taste great with something like Very Greek Grilled Chicken or Kalyn’s Souvlaki.
More Great Salads Featuring Mint:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Wake Up Your Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad
Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Lime, Mint, and Feta
Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Feta, Lemon, and Thyme
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad
Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane
Lentil Salad with Feta, Mint, and Orange from In My Box
Charred Aubergine with Tomato, Mint, and Feta from The Frugal Cook
Halloumi, Watermelon, and Mint Salad from The Culinary Chase
Mint and Parsley Salad with Persian Cucumbers from Modern Beet
Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint from Karina’s Kitchen
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