Do you all watch “Scandal”? I rarely watch TV, but I found that show on Netflix the other day and I’m hooked. It’s dramatic, even soap-opera silly sometimes, but I can’t stop hitting play. I also can’t stop admiring the main character’s wardrobe. Ms. Olivia Pope always looks so perfect and polished. She makes me want to strut around in classy coats and elbow-length leather gloves. I don’t care if it’s seventy degrees outside! Where are my fancy cashmere coats? Where are my red-soled stilettos?
Sigh. Even if I could afford such gorgeous apparel, I’d twist my ankles in those four-inch Louboutins and drip ketchup down my white silk blouses. No doubt about it. Fortunately, this blogging gig doesn’t require a fancy wardrobe. I could be working in my pajamas for all you know. (Maybe I am! Ok, I am.)
We’ve just struck on the primary reason I love posting about food, rather than fashion or interior design or even travel—because I get to promote something that’s actually attainable. And good for you. You could stop at the grocery store on the way home and have this healthy salad for dinner tonight.
I know I always say this, but this salad is definitely my new favorite. It’s bold and brightly flavored, similar to my Lebanese kidney bean salad. The radishes lend a lovely, spicy crunch and the mint and dill make the salad taste alive.
I’ve made this salad a few times now, with both freshly cooked lentils and Trader Joe’s steamed lentils. It’s great both ways, but I’d suggest using pre-steamed lentils if you’re in a hurry. It’s a prime candidate for potlucks and work lunches, as it packs well and keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. Dare I call it a new classic?
- 2 cups dried black beluga lentils or French green lentils
- 2 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons’ worth)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (14 ounce) can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 big bunch of radishes, sliced thin and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup packed fresh, leafy herbs, chopped (combination of mint and dill recommended)
- Optional garnishes: sliced avocado, crumbled feta or goat cheese, handful of fresh leafy greens
- To cook the lentils: Pick over the lentils to remove any bits of debris. Rinse the lentils under running water in a mesh colander. In a medium pot, combine the lentils, halved garlic cloves, olive oil and 4 cups water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the lentils are cooked through and tender, which will take somewhere between 20 to 35 minutes. Drain the lentils and discard the garlic cloves.
- To make the dressing: Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl. If you're using pre-steamed lentils instead of cooking your own, add an extra clove of minced garlic and an extra tablespoon of olive oil.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the lentils, chickpeas, chopped radishes and herbs. Drizzle in the dressing and toss to combine. Serve with avocado, crumbled cheese or fresh greens if you'd like.
- Recipe inspired by Deb's lentil and chickpea salad.