Egyptian Lentil Salad
Awhile back, my dad sent me this great-sounding recipe for an "Egyptian Lentil Salad." I had been meaning to try it out for ages, and then yesterday I ended up making some quinoa tabouli for a work/social picnic. Since I had doubled my usual recipe in order to have enough, I happened to have some leftovers today. In trying to decide what would go well with the leftovers, I came across the lentil recipe from my dad and thought the flavor profiles of it and the tabouli would go well together.
As usual, I did make a few modifications--the original recipe called for 1 small hot green chili, and since I did not have any on hand, I substituted chili powder and crushed red pepper. I know from experience that lime juice and chili powder go really well together, so I thought the combo would work nicely here.
Also, I reduced the amount of olive oil from 1/2 cup to three tablespoons, and added an extra tablespoon of lime juice. I then reduced the cumin from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon, since I sometimes find too much cumin can overpower a dish, and I added one teaspoon of salt where it said "salt to taste."
Lentil Salad Recipe
2 cups lentils
6 cups water
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley, fresh
2 cloves minced garlic + the 2 cloves of garlic that were boiled with the lentils, smashed. (The original recipe called for "discarding" the boiled garlic, but I decided to incorporate them into the dressing.)
3 Tbspn fresh lime juice
Zest of one lime
1/2 tspn cumin
1 tspn salt
1 and 1/2 tspn chili powder
some sprinkles of crushed red pepper
3 tbspn olive oil
Add the lentils to your water on the stove top, along with 2 cloves of garlic (whole) and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmer on low for 30 minutes. Let cool. Drain any water and transfer lentils into a bowl without the bay leaves and garlic. Stir in green onions and parsley.
In another small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients and then whisk until well-blended. Pour the dressing over the lentils and stir. Chill for at least an hour and then serve. Garnish with more parsley if you want.
Just as I thought, the flavors went really well with the tabouli, and I was very pleased with how this turned out. It was tangy and had a sort of Mediterranean feel. I can also see serving this with pita and some vegan tzatzki, or as a side to some baba ganoush, or over a bed of fresh greens, or just on its own. I love lentils because they are so inexpensive, easy to cook, versatile, and nutritious. For me, this recipe is a definite keeper! (I am pretty sure my dad does not read my blog, but just in case he happens to come across this at some point: Thanks for the recipe Dad!)