I am a girl on the go. Between grad school, part-time jobs, and the return of gardening season, only so much of my day can be dedicated to the many, ever-changing culinary adventures I dream up. So when it comes to actually getting in the kitchen and cooking, I often try to develop healthful recipes yielding meals that can be eaten now, later, or several days or weeks from their initial preparation.
This fabulous vegetarian lentil salad, featuring raisins, walnuts, feta, and fresh mint, certainly fits the bill and is loaded with flavor and nutrients. Pair it with some sauteed greens and whole wheat pita bread, brown rice, or roasted winter squash and you've got yourself one tasty meal.
French Lentil Salad
Makes about 4 servings
- 1 cup uncooked French lentils (can substitute black lentils, pictured above)
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup raisins, chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 6 scallions or 1 small spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
To toast the walnuts: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F; toast walnuts until fragrant, about 10 minutes (they should not brown much or at all).
In a small pot, combine the lentils and water and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer the lentils until tender (not mushy!), or for about 20-25 minutes. Add the raisins and let simmer another minute or two. If there is excess water remaining in the pot, drain the lentils in a fine mesh sieve.
In a bowl, combine the lentil-raisin mixture with the walnuts, scallion or onion, olive oil, and lemon juice and gently toss; add the feta and mint just prior to serving, toss, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Image by Rebekah Carter (2012). Recipe adapted from Didi Emmons' Entertaining for a Veggie Planet.