When I cook a batch of lentils for a soup or side dish I like to make extra to have on hand during the week for easy toss together lunches. One of my favorite leftover lunches is this recipe for Lentil Salad. During the summer when cherry tomatoes are at their peak I make it all the time.
Lentils are a great source of protein and are super filling, making this recipe the perfect lunchtime meal. It is full of summertime goodness such as cherry tomatoes, fresh mint, and tangy feta. I like to make a dressing out of red wine vinegar and olive oil but decided to change it up a bit after reading about Za’atar. Za’atar is a popular spice used throughout the middle east. It is a blend of oregano, basil, thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. From the research I have been doing, I have found there are different versions made with different herbs.
While this recipe stands up on its own it is also great served alongside grilled fish or roasted chicken.
- 4 1/2 cups green lentils, cooked
- 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
- 1-pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon za’atar
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
Wash the lentils and remove any small pebbles that may be mixed alongside them.
Put the lentils into a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat; turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. You want the lentils to still be a bit firm, not overly soft.
While the lentils are cooking, mince the red onion and let it sit in a cup of cold water; this removes any bitter bite.
I let the onion sit for 20 minutes; then drain out the water and wrap the onion pieces in a paper towel to remove any moisture.
In a small jar add the olive oil, lemon juice, za’atar, and sumac. Shake until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Once the lentils are cooked, drain them, and then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Lay the lentils on a few paper towels and let them dry really well; about 30 minutes. This step helps the dressing coat the lentils.
A few minutes before your planned serving time, place the lentils in a serving bowl, add the onion, tomatoes, and mint; lightly toss with the dressing and then sprinkle with the feta.