Friday, July 22, 2011

Rice Lentil Salad

Good recipes are like good friends. You hold on tight to them.

This is one recipe that I have had for years from a friend I have known for years. (More than 20! Darn, I am old.) Reflecting on that time, she was really a foodie even in high school. I still remember a samosa-making party. And this super salad. She was a perfectionist- slicing and dicing the rainbow of veggies into the tiniest cubes so that even a salad could be a thing of beauty.

After making it so many times (not so perfectly), I have realized that it is such a great way to used leftover rice. It is also a great way to clean out the veggies in your fridge! Almost anything goes, as the salad dressing is amazing. Just make sure you use lentils, rice and feta!

This is Jeannine's salad. It is a beautiful, crunchy powerhouse of a salad. I think of her everytime I make it!

Jeannine's Rice Lentil Salad
The only thing I changed was to use brown rice and I sometimes use a little less oil. You really can't mess with perfection! Basmati rice is really nice here, but use what you have. This really is a great use of leftover vegetables or rice.
(Note: My salad isn't as colourful as hers was! I used what I had on hand- celery, carrots, herbs, etc.)

2 cups cooked brown rice (cook according to package directions)
2 cups cooked brown lentils (bring to a boil: 1 cup lentils in 4 cups salted water, simmer 25 minutes, drain)
feta cheese (optional: only for vegans!)

Chopped raw veggies:
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped celery stalk
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
6 radishes, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
cilantro, arugula or parsley or a combo, chopped

Combine dressing ingredients in blender or use hand blender to make a smooth, creamy dressing.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 large cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Serve at room temperature or take out of fridge 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional herbs.