Friday, May 25, 2007

LENTIL SALAD WITH MINT, RED PEPPER, AND FETA

Junior year of college I switched to a reduced meal plan. I still had a few meals from the school but most were going to be home cooked. It was the thing to do since I had a kitchen and Brooke was off campus and Jaclyn’s dorm was accessible by car or bus so I couldn’t eat with them. I didn’t have too many other friends that I would actually want to eat with. What a loser. So I got a mini fridge for my room (because no one should leave their food accessible to the crazies I lived with that year) and made food that would last a long time.

When reading Danielle’s Meatless Monday post, I was reminded of this salad that sustained me for many many many meals that year. Maybe I had it for too many meals because I haven’t had it in ages but it is so incredibly delicious that I wonder why. Maybe the reason is that somewhere along the way I lost my recipe notebook. Jaclyn’s favorite lentil rosemary and potato soup is lost forever. I bet I could recreate it though, any maybe I should.

Anyway, here is lentil salad with mint, red pepper, and feta. It is yet another very garlicky recipe so those of you who don’t like garlic can leave any or all of it out but it does taste good in there. If you are going to leave some out I would suggest the pressed garlic in the dressing because the cloves that get cooked with the lentils will become very subtle and mild. This would be a great dish to bring to all those BBQs you are planning on going to this weekend.

-1 cup dry lentils
-3 bay leaves
-4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
-1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-4 tbsp red wine vinegar
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1tsp ground cumin
-salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-1 small red onion, diced
-1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
-3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
-½ cup feta cheese crumbled
-¼ cup Kalamata olives pitted and diced

-Pick over the lentils so you don’t eat any rocks. Wash the lentils and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaves, bruised garlic, and oregano.
-Cover with water by a few inches. Bring to boil, turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until tender. The garlic should be mushy at this point so when you toss the salad it will mush in nicely and leave a mild garlic flavorMix
-Drain, remove bay leaves, and cool for about 30 minutes.
-While cooling, place olive oil, vinegar, pressed garlic, lmon juice, and cumin in a small bowl.
-Toss the vinaigrette with the lentils, onions, red pepper
-Let sit for 20 minutes.
-Taste and season as needed with additional spices if needed
-Add mint, feta, and olives. Stir together.
-Serve as is or over a bed of baby spinach or your favorite greens.
Enjoy

This salad keeps very well. I would usually make a double serving and eat it for an entire week.

1. They call me the wild rose/ But my name was Eliza Day/ Why they call me it I do not know/ For my name was Eliza Day. Where The Wild Roses Grow, Nick Cave. Identified by Jamie.

2. Cecelia/ You’re breaking my heart/ You’re shaking my confidence daily. Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel. Identified by Mom.

3. Do you feel like a chain store/ practically floored/ One of many zeros/ Kicked around bored. Coffee and TV, Blur. Identified by Jamie.

4. Wish you gave me your number/ Wish I could call you today/ Just to hear a voice/ I got a long way to go/ I'm getting further away

5. Long Long Long Long time ago/ Before the wind before the snow/ lived a man lived a man I know/ Lived a freak of nature named Sir Psycho. Sir Psycho Sexy, Red Hot CHili Peppers. Identified by Danielle

7 comments:

Mom said...

Sounds yummy for sure. I'm not planning on going to any picnics this weekend, though...

Did you put #2 in there just so I could feel better about myself? It's "Cecelia" by Simon and Garfunkel.

:-)

CSMC said...

The last one is the opening to Stankonia by Outkast! Right before So Fresh and So Clean I think...

Salad... Yummm...

;)

CSMC said...

Hmm... maybe not on second look. I just read the first line... ah well. :P I am resisting the urge to look it up. Haha...

Natalie said...

Mom- Me neither but it sounded good in theory.

CSMC- That is funny you were so excited seeming. Unfortunately, your second instinct was the right one.

Danielle said...

And Number 5 Would Be Sir Psycho Sexy performed by the one and only Red Hot Chili Peppers. I got a shout out on foodie friday and am able to guess a random lyric ala Natalie this will be a good weekend for sure.

Be well sweets

jamie said...

well, i never know these songs but...

1- "where the wild roses grow"- Nick Cave

3-"Coffee and TV" - Blur

CSG said...

Most of your recipes include ingredients that I can't find in any normal Spanish supermarket. But every once in a while you surprise me with a yummi dish I can actually cook here. This is one of those, and I love lentils!