On very simple, yet filling lunches. #nobrainers
Lentil salad has been a staple dish of mine for many years. It is one of these unsung heroes that normally stay in the shadows as their simplicity and ease to make automatically classify them as no brainers.
There is nothing traditionally Greek about this salad, except perhaps for the topping. There are cubed cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, a healthy handful of parsley and the ever so simple olive oil, vinegar and sea salt dressing.
Small bowlfuls have been tagging along with me in the office for many weeks now. Lentils keep well for 3 to 5 days if refrigerated and they can be enjoyed at room temperature or even slightly warm if you mix in your fresh vegetables last minute. It is the perfect base for just about any weather. In winter, I will chop in beetroot and perhaps a bit of feta cheese too. If I want something fresh however, I will go for this version and add pretty much any finely chopped vegetable that is at arm’s reach.
For the different types of lentils in London, it’s the Indian cuisine I am grateful for. I normally find the typical green lentils, which are the closest to the Greek lentils, under their section.
There are also yellow and red lentils, ideal for dahls. The French/small green Puy lentils and also the black, earthy beluga lentils that make for a very fancy looking salad indeed.
I do miss a bit my Greek lentils however, mainly the chance to get them in bulk from the producers at the open air market aka laiki. Lentils, used to be widely cultivated throughout Greece. Being a simple and inexpensive legume to cultivate it provided sustenance for the whole year. The ancient varieties are unfortunately fading away bit by bit. There is a very special still surviving on Lefkada island, Fakes Eglouvis grown on the same name plateau 800 m above sea level. This variety is not very easy to come by as the annual production is small. If you are looking for them, have a look here.
So, this is one of my favourite lunches, part of the #nobrainers family. I promise many more will come soon.
a humble lentil salad
- 250 gr green lentils
- a nice bunch of vine ripened cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber peeled and chopped in squares.
- half a red onion or one shallot
- 3-4 sprigs of parsley finely chopped
- Olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the lentils for approximately 10 minutes, drain and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile chop the cherry tomatoes in halves and the cucumbers in small squares, so you can easily mix them in your salad.
- Once your lentils are in room temperature, integrate all in a large bowl.
- Dress with olive oil and just a drizzle of vinegar, salt and pepper.
Do you have any favourite lentil salad toppings? Do let me know in the comments section below.
If by any chance you are looking for Greek Easter recipes, please check my best tried and tested Easter recipes here.
from London with love,