I know, I know. What’s with all the savory? What happened to the eight to one, sweet to savory ratio?
I’m sorry, but the beach does funny things to you. In ninety-degree heat at four in the afternoon after a couple hours lying around in the sand or on the deck, swimming in the ocean and all-around general inactiveness, a heady and heavy cake or cookie just doesn’t sound appealing. I’m sorry, I really am. Everything will be back to normal in a couple weeks, don’t worry.
So in this flux of savory, slightly-better-and-more-healthy-than-normal, I bring you French Lentil Salad with feta. At a great place called Bette’s Diner on 4th street in Berkeley, CA, along with cappuccino Twinkies and great pizza are 8 oz. containers of this salad. Refreshing and flavorful, it’s fresh and filling without weighing one down. The lentils are al dente and crisp, the vegetables and light dressing complement the rich feta nicely.
So here it is, a savory salad. Delicious, and perfect for the summer. Oh yeah, and way easier to make than anything sweet….
French Lentil Salad
Inspired by Bette’s Diner in Berkeley, CA
Makes about four to five cups of salad. This salad is especially easy but very delicious and it sits great in the fridge. Make it in the morning and enjoy for brunch, lunch, dinner, the next day and the next day….
1 cup dried French lentils—they’re small and very dark green, easy to find in bulk at grocery stores like Whole Foods, Fairway Market, etc. or in a box under the brand name Sabarat
3 green onions, washed
½ red bell pepper, washed and seeded
2 stalks celery, washed
6 oz. French feta
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from ½ of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash and rinse dried lentils then place in a large saucepan with about ½ teaspoon salt and enough water to more than triple the amount of lentils. Bring entire pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 18-23 minutes or until lentils are cooked but al dente. It is important that the lentils are not in the least bit mushy or soft, and that then retain a nice chewiness and crunch. But not undercooked. 🙂 Drain and rinse lentils in cold water immediately, then place in a dry bowl and refrigerate until ready for use.
2. In a small bowl mix the red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Do not salt. Thinly slice the green onions, using all but the roots and the very tip of the dark green end. Finely dice the celery and ½ of a bell pepper. Cube the feta. Mix all the vegetables and the feta into the lentils, and then dress the salad. Reserve some dressing if you desire a lighter taste. Salt and pepper the salad again after adding the feta and dressing. After time in the fridge, the entire mixture will macerate and become very flavorful.