Sometimes I just want a different side dish. This lentil salad always does the trick. You can serve it warm, room temperature, or even cold. Also, if you need to take a dish to a gathering, consider this salad. It is perfect for a buffet.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
4 cups water, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 cups dried lentils
½ cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest from one lemon
Juice from the same lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring the water or stock to a boil. If you are using water, add a teaspoon of salt to the water.
Add the lentils and reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes. You don’t want the lentils to become mushy but just be cooked. Keep an eye on them toward the end of cooking.
Drain the lentils in a colander. There shouldn’t be much liquid. Gently stir the lentils to help cool them a bit before adding the other ingredients.
While the lentils cook, sautee the onion and carrots in the olive oil. When relatively soft, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more. Remove from heat and wait for the lentils to finish.
Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and lentils into a bowl. Then add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, and parsley to the bowl. Mix everything together gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.
Note: If you serve the salad chilled, consider adding a bit more salt and pepper and possibly lemon because the flavors can be muted a bit when chilled.