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Summer Salad 3 Ways

When my friend Myra made mention of this salad in an email, I immediately wanted to make it. The next day I bought all the ingredients and whipped up a batch with my kid before heading off to Anne’s house for dinner. Anne made these Salmon Croquettes [1]and served the lentil salad along with them. The kids (one 4 year old and two 7 year olds) were reluctant to taste the lentils but after finally giving in they requested helping after helping. I’m not kidding, it’s THAT kid friendly! Shocking, I know.

Anne sent me home with the salad because she had already resolved to make a batch of her own the next day. When I saw it in the fridge in the morning I just had to fry up an egg and serve it atop a warmed up scoop of salad. The result was divine!

That night when my kid wanted pasta for dinner, I simply could not resist using the last of the lentils instead of sauce. This may be my favorite incarnation of it yet. Next time I’m going to use spaghetti.

One healthy salad, served three different ways. What could be more appealing? Now for the recipe…

Summer Lentil Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 5 mins

2 cups cooked green lentils*
1 1/2 cup tomato bruschetta*
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 additional tablespoon feta cheese
6 basil leaves (torn)

Lentil Salad
In a large bowl combine lentils, tomato bruschetta and 1/3 cup feta cheese. Toss. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with 1 tablespoon of feta and basil. Serve salad at room temp. Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups.

Lentils & Eggs
Place left over lentil salad in a small pot and warm over medium low heat being careful not to overheat. Meanwhile, fry an egg in a non-stick skillet. Transfer warm lentils to a plate and slide fried egg on top.

Pasta with Lentils
Place left over lentil salad in a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat being careful not to overheat. Meanwhile, boil your pasta of choice and cook al dente. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Combine pasta and lentils and transfer to serving bowl. Garnish with some additional feta and torn basil.

* To save on time we used Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils and jarred Tomato Bruschetta. This recipe is just as good when you make your own. To make the lentils, start with 1 cup dry green lentils. Rinse and transfer to a pot. Add 1 cup vegetable broth and 2 cups water. Add a bay leaf and 2 whole peeled garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat as soon as they start to boil. Make sure the heat remains low and continue to cook until lentils are tender but not mushy. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. Take them off the heat, remove garlic and bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste. Let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then you can cool them completely. To make the Tomato Bruschetta combine 1 can good diced roasted tomatoes (drained), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon distilled vinegar, fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.

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[1] Salmon Croquettes : http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Salmon-Croquettes

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