Recipe: Lentil, Bulgar and Feta Salad

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Everyone needs a few stand-by recipes to keep on hand for cookouts, potlucks and such.  This recipe is one of my favorites to take places.  I have made it so many times now that I almost have it memorized.  I like it because it is unique, healthy and always gets compliments.  I stumbled across it in an issue of “Everyday Food” several years ago and have been making it ever since.  I have made a few minor changes to adapt the recipe to our preference.  This recipe was full of firsts for me.  It was the first time that I ever cooked lentils or any dried bean for that matter.  It was the  also first time that I ever cooked or even heard of bulgar wheat.  Since many of these ingredients were totally new to me and maybe new to others too, I will be writing a post about each of them. Here is the recipe.  If you make it please post comments, questions and any variations you may come up with.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup picked over and rinsed lentils (I use green or brown lentils.)
  • 3/4 cup of bulgar wheat (Check the health food, bulk or ethnic food section of your grocery store to find it.) Use 1 cup Quinoa to make this a gluten-free dish.
  • All ingredients used are pictured above

    1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (I use freshly squeezed juice.)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup or more of crumbled feta cheese (I use more because we really like feta!)

Directions:

  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in bulgar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover, remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Place lentils in a medium saucepan.  Cover by 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer then cover and allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cook the lentils until tender but still holding their shape.  Drain well.
  5. Meanwhile slice the green onions, halve the tomatoes and juice your lemons.
  6. Transfer bulgur to a large bowl.  Gently stir in lentils, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Sprinkle feta on top or stir it in too.

Optional: Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours then sprinkle feta on top.  I like the way this dish tastes after it has had time to sit a bit.  This gives the bulgar and lentils a chance to soak up the lemon juice and oil.

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