Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Simple Make-Ahead Side Dish Idea: Lentil Salad

We're on a lentil kick around here. So, in the spirit on having sides on hand to make getting dinner on the table a cinch, here's another favorite make-ahead, simple side to share with you:

Lentil Cucumber Salad

Trader Joe's Black Beluga Lentils (which come fully cooked in a baggie, or cook lentils from your own market according to the package)
English Cucumbers, diced
Fennel (bulb part only, not the leafy part), diced
Dill (fresh, or dried if you forgot to pick it up at the market...)

Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Combine the lentils, cucumber, fennel and dill in a mixing bowl. (I didn't put amounts in this recipe because you can go heavier or lighter on any of the individual ingredients, depdnding upon what you and your family like best. The one in the photo is heaviest on the fennel, and about equal on the lentils and cucumbers.)

Then, in a blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste. (I like my dressings very tangy. I recommend starting with a 1:4 ratio of lemon juice to olive oil and you can always add more acid (lemon juice) or base (olive oil) until you get the taste you like best. Add salt if necessary.) Pour dressing over lentil salad and let sit in fridge for up to several days. (It gets better the longer it sits and flavors meld.)

If you're looking for more side ideas, check out the comments section of this "Raising Foodies" post. There are so many great ones!! I have a particular affinty for this fellow blogger since we seem to be on the same wavelength... my boys just dug into a scrumptious blueberry crisp we whipped up together.

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