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Friday, January 7, 2011

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Pepper

My last New Years tradition post, I promise!  I realize that it is a bit counterproductive to post recipes about events that have already occurred, but I didn't have the time to prepare everything prior to the holiday.  Sorry.  Keep in mind for next year!
Like cooked greens, legumes (including beans, peas, and lentils) are symbolic of money.  Their appearance tends to resemble coins.  The legumes swell when they cook, so they are believed to bring financial rewards.  In the past, I've held onto a German tradition of making a split-pea soup, but I decided to change it up a bit this year with this lentil salad.  I loved it!  It was a wonderful, healthy, and fulfilling lunch.  I've cut back a lot on the amount of meat I consume and I'm looking for alternative ways to get adequate amounts of protein for my body.  I doubt I'll ever be able to go completely meat-free (I do live with a carnivore) but as long as I have options like this around, I'll be perfectly content!  This salad is a Mediterranean-style dish that is simply delicious.   It would pair nicely with a salad and some goat cheese or shredded romano cheese.
Warm Lentil and Roasted Pepper Salad
from Reader's Digest
Yield:  4 servings
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils, lightly rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced, drained, and rinsed canned roasted sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup diced and seeded plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Bring water, lentils, and 1/2 tsp salt to boil in a saucepan over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until lentils are firm but fully cooked, 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix parsley, sweet pepper, celery, onion, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt in large serving bowl.
  3. Drain lentils, add to serving bowl, and toss.  Serve warm.

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