Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Warm Mediterranean Lentil Salad

As a general rule of mine, I tweak nearly every recipe I try unless I'm baking. Don't be afraid to create your own unique style when it comes to... well, anything! With this one, I added vegetable broth & balsamic vinegar to give it more flavor. 
This recipe is a nice comforting lentil salad for any season. It works both warm or cold and is easily adaptable for whatever ingredients you have around. I actually added this to a bed of spinach with the leftovers and it was wonderful tasting as well as healthy, adding some calcium, vitamins A and C, fiber, folic acid and magnesium. I left out the Parmesan cheese that this recipe calls for, but I think it would be fabulous with some feta! Experiment with it and let me know what you come up with!






Ingredients:
10 cherry tomato, about 1 cup
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, 10oz
grated zest & juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 fresh bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, crushed & chopped
1/2 cup pitted olives, such as Kalamata
a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. fresh Parmesan, Feta or your favorite cheese
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Place the cherry tomatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
Put the lentils in a saucepan. Add the lemon zest and juice, bay leaf, garlic and a blend of enough water & vegetable broth to cover.
Stir, bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
Drain the lentils thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, red onions, olives, parsley, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with cheese of your choice. Enjoy!!

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