As you may have gathered, we like lentils in this family. It’s just that they are so versatile, and cheap, and healthy! I like the peppery flavor of Du Puy (French green) lentils. Continuing on from the vichyssoise we have another a French-inspired summer dish. It’s great to make ahead and goes nicely with some grilled tarragon chicken. If you Google tarragon chicken you’ll find approximately eight jillion recipes. Adapted from Epicurious.
- 1 cup (250 ml) du Puy lentils (French green lentils)
- 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) water
- 1 cup (250 ml) couscous
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 bag (100 g, approx) arugula, chopped
- 2 cups (200 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 200 g feta (or similar cheese, such as halloumi), crumbled
- fresh lemon juice
Put lentils in a small sauce pan and cover with 2 inches of water. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes until they are tender but not falling apart, rinse carefully with cool water and drain well. Put lentils back in the saucepan and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Put dry couscous and another pinch of salt in a large bowl. Bring water to boil on the stove top (I use an electric kettle, much faster). Pour water over couscous and stir with a fork, then cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely.
In a small bowl (or in the mortar you used to mash the garlic) whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, for 45-60 minutes (or overnight if you really want to make-ahead). After this time stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill additional 30 minutes and give the salad a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving.
Servings: Six. 260 calories.