Friday, July 17, 2009

Lentil Orzo Salad with Feta & Mint

There’s a deli near my workplace that, unfortunately, is not too good. The prices are high, the service is poor, and the food just isn’t that great. But, because it’s so convenient, I end up going there for lunch every now and then. Plus, they sometimes have this lentil salad that’s actually really good. So good, I hunted down the recipe.

It’s a tasty and filling summer salad. The mint and the dill work together really well with the olives and feta and garlic vinaigrette. It’s a bit oniony (is that a word?), so if you think it might be too much for you, go ahead and reduce the amount of onion (and garlic too, if you like).

Lentil Orzo Salad with Feta & Mint  PRINTABLE RECIPE

1-1/4 cups dry orzo pasta
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dried brown lentils - rinsed & drained
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 cup kalamata olives - pitted & chopped
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 small red onion - diced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper - to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

2. Place lentils in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer over low heat until lentils are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together 5 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar, and garlic to make the vinaigrette.

4. Remove pasta from refrigerator and add lentils, vinaigrette, olives, feta, onion, mint, and dill. Stir until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention that I like to halve some mini pearl or sugar plum tomatoes and scatter them on top of the salad. It adds some nice, sweet freshness that I think the salad really needs.