Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad

If I were given the choice between beans and lentils, most of the time I'd pick lentils. And as a vegetarian I definitely need to be picking at least one of them! Sadly, I don't seem to come across many lentil recipes. At least not compared to bean recipes. (So please share your favourite lentil recipes with me!)

So one day I went searching for lentil recipes and came across this one on Epicurious. Looking at the ingredient list I was kind of skeptical (mint mixed with the arugula for the greens? no real added flavour except for salt, pepper, vinegar and garlic?) but it got really good reviews so I gave it a try. And I liked it. It's just a nice, fresh salad that's great to eat as a meal. The flavours are simple with salt, pepper, vinegar and garlic but it's good. And this salad can easily be made vegan by omitting the feta.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Greek Barley Salad
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon
Broccoli Slaw
Portobello Salad with Mustard Dressing

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
Adapted from Gourmet | September 1995

1 cup brown lentils
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bunch arugula, stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound feta, crumbled or chopped (about 1 cup)

In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.

In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.

Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.


jd said...

This is such an interesting salad! I never would've attempted to mix greens and couscous either, but it definitely looks good...

As for lentils vs. beans, I'm more of a bean girl myself, although I've grown increasingly more fond of lentils. One of my favorite lentil dishes is a soup from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I posted about it a while back, but if you wanna check it out, here's the link:

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm a sucker for lentils and feta - what a delicious salad, Ashley!

Sarah S. said...

Love the simplicity of this salad. I am a big lentil fan, too. One of my favorites is the Snobby Joes from Veganomicon.

janet said...

I love lentils! I have been converted to the French du Puy for salads - they are infinitely tastier, plumper and cook in only 20 minutes!

I really like the tamarind lentils from Veganomicon - and normal green or brown lentils are fine.

This is also a tasty salad. Great with French lentils but I think green or brown would work equally well.

And this is a fabulous stew that happens to include lentils:

Enjoy! :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmm I love couscous and this is so healthy with the lentils (and reminds of the complementary proteins I just learned about in nutrition class hehe). Seems like it'd make a great light lunch.

Rachel said...

This sounds like a great lentil dish! I often go for lentils because they cook much faster than beans.
This is one of my favorite lentil recipes. It needs some spicing up but it's delicious, satisfying, and different.

Joanne said...

This sounds like a really good standby salad to have in your repertoire! Perfect for a busy day lunch.

Hannah said...

Couscous is a must-have pantry staple for quick meals, so I always have some on hand. Always happy to have more inspiration for using it, and this dish looks fresh and tasty!

Katrina V. said...

I love lentils, and that looks delish.

jodye @ 'scend food said...

I think the simplicity of mediterranean food is the best part. This salad looks so fresh and satisfying. I don't come across too many lentil recipes, either, so I usually just wing it, but there is one I've become quite partial to, I just substitute earth balance or more oil for the butter:

Johanna GGG said...

I don't often make salads with lentils but I do have one lentil salad that is virtually my standby salad and great for taking to others places so I have all the nutrients I need in one salad (but I often leave out the asparagus and haloumi)

I quite like the idea of lentil and couscous - will have to try this

eileen said...

That looks excellent! Almost like a less chopped and mixed tabbouleh, but with lentils for protein. It's definitely going on the everlasting list of food to make and eat.

Glory Lily said...

I love all of these ingredients except for feta. Do you recommend any substitutions?

eatme_delicious said...

Glory Lily: Maybe you can use another strong flavoured firm cheese? Cubed aged white cheddar? Any cheese you like.

CookiePie said...

This looks great!! So hearty and satisfying and all-around yummy.

Deborah said...

I was just watching something last night with couscous, and I've been craving couscous ever since. This would be the perfect recipe to satisfy my craving!

Anonymous said...

I love lentils too. I normally make lentils in a small sauce pan with onions and Indian spices. It comes out pretty good. :-)

I'm so happy that I went to the festival, it was so much fun. I have to admit I was SUPER nervous and intimidated at first. However, after meeting other bloggers, it made me realize that behind all of these blogs that there were actual people behind them. I mean I knew this before, but it's so different when you get to meet them authors in person! Can't wait for next year.

Dana said...

I'm not sure I could choose between beans and lentils because I sure do love them both. But beans aren't always done right in my opinion and lentils are ALWAYS right. :) This looks so nutritious and healthy!

stephen said...

me too, I love lentils! such a delicious treat. .

Elly W said...

Nice info here. Keep us these great posts!

Chef Fresco said...

I love lentils too. This salad looks delicious and super healthy!

retro sweets said...

I don't have any recipe to share because I'm looking for them myself. This looks so healthy and yummy!! Perhaps I can substitute wheat with leftover rice? What do you think?

retro sweets said...

Just thought i would comke back and read your blog again! I know its been a while but its still really good.