Zesty Mediterranean lentil salad





Zesty Mediterranean lentil salad!

Earthy and nutty lentils with crispy croutons, grilled peppers, cucumber, onion and a a delicious dressing. Last but not the least, salty feta cheese which is the most amazing food ingredient. This salad is perfect for a healthy and filling summer lunch/dinner. It just takes 30 minutes from start to finish and you'll have yourself the most delicious and satisfying meal. It's hearty, super flavorful , colorful and protein enriched.



I love salads and I am always experimenting to come up with new salads which are healthy and at the same time flavorful. This Mediterranean lentil salad is not your regular boring salad.  If you have never been a salad person then I highly recommend you try this salad.  Highlight of this salad is herb-y lentils which taste really good and great for adding in buddha bowls too. Grilled peppers add such an amazing sweet and charred flavor. Croutons provide crunch and soak up all the juices from the dressing and gets incredibly scrumptious. Salty feta cheese also gives another amazing Mediterranean touch and just lifts up the entire salad to another level.  

Feta really is one of my favorite food ingredient and both Watermelon and tomato salad and Greek salad would be incomplete without it. It's also great in Mexican kidney bean tacos and can be used to make different bruschetta



So let's talk a little about lentils. Lentil which I have used in this recipe is called puy lentil more commonly known as masoor dal in India. While I have always loved Instant dal makhani made with these puy lentils, lately I have been enjoying them in buddha bowls and salads. Because puy lentils are high in protein and low in fat, they are ideal for reducing weight. Packed with fiber, they make you feel full for a long time , easier to digest than other legumes and also taste nutty and delicious. Their flavor lends itself well to Mediterranean cuisine.

Do check out Kidney bean Salad, Paneer shcezwan frankie and Mexican grilled pineapple salad for more protein based recipes.



Here's how you can prep for the salad--->>

Start by cooking lentils.  While that is happening, prepare croutons and I recommend that you make a big batch of it and store in air-tight container for adding in soups, salads or using as a crudite for snacking with hummusmuhammara or this restaurant style salsa. They are made with minimum oil, seasoned with salt and black pepper powder and taste phenomenal.  You must use olive oil which makes all the difference.

While croutons are crisping, chop and slightly grill peppers on a sandwich griller or griddle grill. You can even roast in oven till slightly charred.  You'll also need some cucumber and slice onions for the freshness and  then just toss everything together with the dressing. The dressing is pretty simple and made with olive oil, honey, mustard sauce, chili flakes, garlic and lemon juice.


Diet: Vegetarian
Type: Appetizer/ Light meal
Serving: Serves 4 as salad/ 2 as light meal

Ingredients

Puy lentils (masoor dal) - 1/2 CUP RAW
4 Bread slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper- chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper- chopped
1 thinly sliced onion
1 thinly sliced cucumber
2 tbsp chopped coriander
feta cheese (as mush as you'd like)

Dressing

2 Tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tsp lemon juice
2 Tsp mustard sauce
2 tsp honey
1 tsp chili flakes
2 large cloves garlic- grated
2 Tsp water

Method

Wash and soak lentils for 1 hour. Cook on medium heat in salted water till cooked al dente. Once done, discard excess water and rinse under cold water.

Once lentils are done add salt and chopped coriander and mix through and set aside. 

While lentils are cooking, prepare croutons. Slice bread into small square shapes and spread on a baking tray. Drizzle 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt and black pepper powder and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees for 10 mins or till crisp.

Also chop bell peppers and grill on high heat till slightly charred and set aside.

Thinly slice onions and cucumber too. 

For the dressing, add olive oil, garlic, mustard sauce, honey, salt and chili flakes in a small jar and give a good shake. Taste and adjust flavor.

Assembling the salad

Add herb-y lentils, croutons, grilled peppers, cucumber, onion in a bowl and pour the dressing and toss everything together lightly.

Top with feta cheese and serve immediately.


If you try this recipe,don't forget to take a picture or leave a comment and tag #fascinatingfoodworld on Instagram and #nishbes on Twitter.

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If you are looking for more  salad recipes, try these too














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