Friday, October 5, 2012

Lentil Salad with Grapes, Chile and Cilantro

My last lentil salad recipe was quite the hit. I've made it a dozen times over, so yum. Is it possible to top it?

Well, let's just say you can't compare the perfections of Spring to the majesty of Fall. The only thing this salad has in comparison to the last one is LENTILS as an ingredient. Other than that, these lentils are dressed with a completely different and delicious ensemble.

Well, Tyler does it again. Remember my Crab and Artichoke Pasta?  Need I say more?  He did his version of this salad with flank steak, I decided to keep it vegetarian. You are not going to believe these flavor packed ingredients. Buckle your seat belt, next stop: Lentil Heaven!

Lentil Salad with Grapes, Chile and Cilantro

1 cup lentils
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 smashed garlic clove
1 green (Anaheim chile), very mild, chopped
1 lemon grated and juiced
Leaves from 1 bunch of cilantro
1 pound red grapes, sliced in half
4-5 oz of crumbled feta
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredient photo #2... sometimes you just get carried away with excitement and forget several other items!

Start with your lentils. Pick through them, removing any grit or "bad boys."

Pour lentils into a small pot. Cover with cold water, about two inches above the lentils.

Add salt, thyme and smashed garlic clove. Cover and bring to a boil. Then simmer for about 30 min. Check them at 25. You don't want mushy, just cooked through. When finished, drain (remove garlic and thyme sprigs) and let cool.

While the lentils are cooking, halve your grapes. I know this seems silly, but it makes for a better bite. Trust me on this. Take the 5 minutes.

And the chiles: core and seed them. Give them a rough chop. They are somewhere between a mild jalepeno and a bell pepper. Really tasty.

When everything else is chopped, combine your salad ingredients into a boil.

Add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest and top with the black pepper.

Time for a big stir! Look how healthy that looks!

The truth of the story is this...

It was about 5 pm when I made the salad. By the time Chris got home for dinner, I had tasted it, tasted it again, and really had a pre-dinner meal by the time he got home. I wasn't even hungry for dinner! Rest assured: I was so satisfied. But be warned, it's that addictive. Salty, sweet, tangy, crunchy, fresh. After Chris finished his dinner... he didn't blame me one bit.

Yep. We were in lentil heaven. It's genius.

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