This Greek inspired lentil salad hits all the right notes – crunchy, creamy, light-yet-filling, and bursting with bright flavors. It’s a great take-along for a Memorial Day picnic, and though it stands alone as a vegetarian entree, it would be a fabulous accompaniment to anything from burgers to grilled chicken. The lemony dressing will seem like too much at first, but the lentils will absorb it over time. French green lentils are worth seeking out – they have a wonderful nutty flavor and do not get mushy like other lentils. I also love French feta if you can find it – it is milder and creamier than other varieties.
Lemony Lentil Salad with Dill, Cucumber and Feta
makes approximately 6 cups
- 1 cup French green lentils
- 3 cloves garlic, one peeled and two minced
- zest of two lemons
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium red bell pepper, small diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small cucumber, small diced (about 1 cup)
- cherry tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 small red onion, small diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 cup feta, small diced
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil with one peeled garlic clove and a large pinch of salt. Add lentils and cook over medium-high heat until lentils are tender and cooked through, 18-20 minutes. Drain, then place in a large bowl.
- While lentils are cooking, make the dressing by whisking together the two minced garlic cloves, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add dressing to the still-warm lentils. Allow to cool completely.
- While lentils are cooling, chop veggies, herbs and feta. After chopping the tomatoes and cucumbers, place in a colander lined with paper towels for at least 10 minutes to absorb excess liquid.
- Add all veggies and herbs to the cooled lentil mixture. Stir in feta last. Season to taste with salt and pepper.