Summer Lentil Salad
In the days following the July 4th holiday, the sweltering summer days begged for something cool and refreshing, and our over-indulged stomachs yearned for something light and crunchy. The weekend marathon of grilling mountains of meats, the helpings of pie, and the many glasses of wine came to a much needed end. It was time to focus on eating cleanly again.
To focus on true summer tastes. To appreciate the sweetness and unique beauty of that heirloom tomato.
This Summer Lentil Salad has everything I could want in a salad: the crunch of the cucumber, the bursts of sweetness from the tomato, tangy nuggets of crumbled feta cheese, and the refreshing coolness of mint. Supporting these flavors are tiny bites of lentils, dressed in a perfect white balsamic dressing. This salad compliments so many main dishes, but to be honest, one bowlful is so wholesome and perfect for a lunch…all by itself.
Summer Lentil Salad
Make the most of those beautiful heirloom tomatoes in this very summery salad. It pairs beautifully with a flavorful roast chicken, grilled steak, simple fish - almost anything! And of course, it is wonderful as a vegetarian main dish as well.
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 cups peeled and cubed English cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups cooked lentils*
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 fresh mint leaves, minced
kosher salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
In a small bowl, whisk together the white balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, then stir in the scallions. Set the dressing aside. Whisk once more before using.
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, lentil, feta cheese and mint leaves. Toss with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you happen to live near a Trader Joe's, making this salad becomes a snap. Take advantage of their cooked lentils, which you can find in the refrigerated part of the produce section, near the fresh herbs.