Packed with nutrients
Learning about lentils was quite eye-opening. Of all the legumes I love, I've probably cooked with lentils the least. No idea why, but it's going to change. Experimenting with different recipes to bookend our article about green lentil agriculture in the Vendée, I fell in love with this (vegetarian/ vegan) salad. I knew bulgur loves lemon, and that lentils love lemon. Put the three ingredients together, and it's like a new trinity. The perfect combo that not only tastes fresh and delicious, but is so full of nutrition that even Popeye might completely burst out of his clothes. Enjoy it for lunch with fresh pita, or with some lean chicken or fish, or as I did accompanied by an endive salad and you'll know you've done something good for your body. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Ingredients and preparation - Tabbouleh & green lentil with feta
Feeds 4 - 6, but keeps well in the fridge for several days
- tabbouleh (tabouleh) mix (use bulgur wheat and make tabouleh from scratch if you can't find the mixes but they should be available in health food stores or the foreign section in grocery stores - I stock up on them any time I find them)
- 1 lemon, juiced (zest if you like)
- good olive oil
- 1 tomato
- feta cheese
- extra freshly chopped parsley if you like
- green lentils (1 cup dry)
- 1 veggie bouillon cube
- salt and pepper
- For the endive salad
- one or two endives, bitter core removed
- lemon juice or plain vinegar
- salt and pepper
- mayo or Greek yoghurt (or a combo)
- optional: sweet apple cored and diced - amount to your taste
- Pick through 1 cup of dry green lentils for any bad looking ones and discard them
- In a sieve, rinse the lentils with cold water
- Add dry lentils to a sauce pan (keeping in mind they triple in size when cooking) and add three cups of water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube (it is not necessary to add salt to the water)
- Cover tightly, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or as instructed on the box
- When tender, drain and set aside to cool
- Prepare the bulgur according to package instructions
- Fluff the tabouleh with a fork, add some lemon zest
- Add a tomato (skinned or not) cut into cubes, juice of 2/3 of a lemon, salt and pepper, an extra splash of olive oil
- Add lentils and mix well
- Add feta cheese - if the lentils and/or tabouleh are still a little warm, the feta cheese will make the salad a little creamy - that's totally fine, it just depends what you like. If you want the feta to keep its shape, make sure the salad is completely cold before adding the chunks.
- Cover and refrigerate for the flavors to blend
- Remove any bad leaves from the endive
- Slice the endive in half length wise and remove the hard core
- Slice the endive into thin slivers
- Add a spoonful of mayo, or yoghurt, or 2/3 yoghurt plus 1/3 mayo
- Add 1 tablespoons of plain vinegar or the rest of the lemon juice (see above) - this not only brings flavor, it keeps the endive from going brown -- in fact, optional would be to dice a sweet apple in this salad as well. It's up to you.
- Mix it all together with salt and pepper and set aside for about 15 minutes
Serve the salads on a plate with extra feta, warm pita bread or crusty bread, a lemon wedge etc...
Serve with a glass of dry white wine or some mint ice tea
Tip: the endive salad (minus the apple!) goes so well with chips/ French fries - it's a perfect combo!
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