This dish was inspired by my friend, Jane’s trick of puréeing sun-dried tomatoes with oil and vinegar for a bold, flavor-packed dressing that livens up simple lentils. Even those who dislike the chewy texture of the dried fruit will love this zippy salad. Vary the vegetables as you like. Add chopped celery, fennel or radishes, or a handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or dill. Omit the feta for a vegan option. Use brown or green lentils that remain whole with cooking, such as Spanish Pardina lentils or French lentilles Du Puy.
- 1 cup brown or green lentils
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 peeled carrot, diced
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 green onions, chopped (including green tops)
- 1/2 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups roughly chopped arugula leaves
- 1 ounce feta cheese cut into small cubes
- Cook lentils in water according to package directions, until tender.
- While lentils cook prepare the vinaigrette by puréeing oil, vinegar and tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add a large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- When lentils are done cooking, drain and cool slightly. Place in a bowl and mix with dressing. Allow lentils to cool fully. Gently stir carrot, tomatoes, onions, pepper and arugula into lentil mixture. Sprinkle feta over the top and gently fold into salad. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.