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Cold Lentil Salad With Cucumbers And Olives

Lentils slip in and out of my consciousness throughout the year, filling out warming stews and serving as a bed for braised meats during the winter, then resurging as a base for cold yet hearty salads in the summer. Every year I revisit this particular salad of lentils, cucumbers, olives, and mint tossed with a sherry vinaigrette, whether to dole out for lunches throughout the week or as a healthy contribution to a summer cookout

Prep
Cook
Serves 8people
Ingredients
2
cup French lentils
2
clove garlic, smashed
2
bay leaves
1/2
tbs whole-grain mustard
1/2
tsp salt
2
tbs sherry vinegar
6
tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2
medium cucumbers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1
cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
3/4
cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
1
cup ricotta or feta cheese
Directions
1.
Combine the lentils, garlic, and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water and pull out the garlic and bay leaves. Refrigerate until cold.
2.
While the lentil are chilling, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, salt, and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until the dressing has emulsified.
3.
Combine the lentils, cucumbers, olives, and mint in a large bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette and toss to evenly coat. Dot with ricotta or crumbled feta just before serving.

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