Friday, January 19, 2007

Puy Lentil Salad with Feta

I'm always on the lookout for vegetarian gluten-free recipes that are rich in fiber and protein. This recipe sure meets the requirements, with 11.6 grams of dietary fiber per serving, and 13.6 grams of protein! This is my kosher adaptation of a recipe from user "de Roche" on RecipeZaar - The original called for diced ham.

Puy lentils are a small, flavorful lentil that hold their shape in salads better than brown or red lentils. They are more expensive than other types of lentils but well worth the cost, in my opinion. If you cannot find them, you can substitute beluga lentils, masoor dal, or brown lentils (which won't hold their shape as well as puy lentils). In the picture you can tell that I overcooked them a bit because I forgot to set the kitchen timer... Oops! Thankfully, the salad was still fabulous.

I used Eden Foods' unsweetened Brown Rice Vinegar which is gluten-free, kosher, and organic. You may use a white rice vinegar if that's what you have on hand, and if you prefer you can try one of the "seasoned" rice vinegars which have added sugar.

Use a high quality feta cheese for this salad if you can - It is worth avoiding Athenos or one of the other mass-produced fetas, if possible. I recommend a goat and/or sheep's milk based cheese for the best taste.


1/2 cup puy lentils
2 bay leaves
1 cup green beans, trimmed and sliced in fourths
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 ounces feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Cover the lentils and bay leaves with several inches of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Discard the bay leaf and drain the lentils. Allow them to cool to room temperature.

While the lentils are cooking, chop the beans, carrot, and celery. Steam them for about 5 minutes, or submerge them in boiling water for 1 minutes. They should retain a crisp texture - Do not overcook.

Toss vegetables and lentils together in a bowl. Add cilantro and onion. Combine oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad and mix well. Stir in crumbled feta right before serving. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes 3-4 generous servings.

[Created for Weekend Herb Blogging]


Scott at Real Epicurean said...

This salad is interesting. I've never thought of using lentils before, but it makes perfect sense now!

Kalyn said...

Sounds like a very good recipe. I like lentils in salad a lot.

Dianne said...

Sounds and looks interesting! I've been seriously thinking about investigating lentils recently .. but havent got much further than that yet

Congratulations on your gluten free round-up, its an excellent resource which I look forward to each week


Mike Eberhart said...

For some reason I tend to use the lentils nearly exclusively in soups. Though, I did just see this episode of Iron Chef, where the secret-ingredient was lentils. That opened my eyes quite a bit. Your salad looks good, and is definitely easier for me to accept as a use of lentils than the Lentil Ice-Cream one Chef submitted to the judges on that show... that just didn't sound too appealing.

Sheri said...

I have recently discovered that I like lentils. Feta, on the other hand...LOL Looks like I am going to have to give it another go.

Poet with a Day Job said...

Yum! Loving that pic!

Katie said...

Lentil Salad - perfect for winter!
I like the idea of adding feta cheese. And I love anything to do with lentils.

ByTheBay said...

Scott - Thanks for including it in the roundup!

Kalyn - Me, too - My next attempt is going to be duplicating this yummy lentil-rosemary salad a local Italian deli has. Yum!

Dianne - Lentils are such a great, quick form of protein. I like that they are one kind of bean you don't have to pre-soak. Glad you enjoy the roundup!

Mike - ew, lentil ice cream! That sounds so yucky. But I am loving using lentils in some non-conventional ways these days.

Sheri - Do give it another chance! If you don't like the slightly gamey flavor of goat's milk, try a cow's milk feta maybe?

Poet - Ha, thank you :)

Katie - Ditto! Thanks for commenting.

sher said...

Thank you for that recipe! I love all those ingredients. That will make a fabulous salad!