SALADS

Greek lentil salad

Greek lentil salad

If you think lentils are bland and boring, you’ve never tasted this salad — it’s absolutely packed with flavor! It also happens to be very filling because lentils are rich in protein and fiber — which both naturally suppress hunger.

The other day we served this salad wrapped in homemade flat-breads, still warm from the pan, which was delightful. It also makes a wonderful side salad with grilled or pan-fried fish, chicken or falafel.

Sometimes we might add canned tuna to this salad. Tuna goes beautifully with the lentils and other ingredients and adds healthy omega-3 fats and extra protein to the mix, which makes it even more filling. You could also toss this lentil salad with hot cooked pasta to warm through, and then mix baby spinach in after cooking to wilt it slightly.

This salad tastes really good served straight away, but if you make it ahead to allow the flavors to develop and mingle it tastes even better. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, just take it out to come to room temperature and toss lightly before serving.

Greek lentil salad
Serves 4
Brown lentils, zucchini, roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives and crumbled feta coated with a robust olive oil, garlic and red wine vinegar dressing.
14 oz (400g) canned brown lentils — rinsed and drained
½ zucchini — finely diced
½ cup jarred roasted red peppers — diced
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2½ oz (70g) feta cheese — crumbled
8 Kalamata olives — finely chopped
1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove — minced
⅓ teaspoon dried oregano
⅓ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
PLACE the lentils, zucchini, red pepper, red onion, feta cheese, olives and parsley in a bowl. PLACE the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine. POUR the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.

Variation: Add a small can of good-quality canned tuna.

Serving suggestions: Perfect as a side salad, use as a filling for flat-bread wraps, as a topping for bruschetta, or simply serve with crusty bread on the side. Toss with hot cooked pasta and baby spinach.