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.
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar instead of the honey.