As it is getting towards the warmer times of year, at least the past Sunday afternoon made us here think that, I tend to shift the focus of my eating and start to crave more fresh and quick recipes that take advantage of all the seasonal produce available. On warmer days salads are a wonderful thing to make but they don’t always have enough staying power to make a full meal, unless you do it right. In come the lentils, from green to brown to orange, they even come in black, and I am not even talking about the Indian varieties that are usually referred to as lentils, but too me, look more like little beans. But no matter what color or shape, they are versatile and easy to prepare, none require pre soaking and all cook quickly. Lentils are great! Filling, low fat, high in fiber and a whole bunch of phosphorus and other minerals pack themselves away in there too!
Here I also had some Arugula and Egg salad on the side
This salad is also a great way to use up the rest of a bunch of parsley you bought for a recipe that only needed 2 tablespoons! Parsley contains lots of good things like iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C to just name a few, but has huge amounts of vitamin K! So you don’t want to waste the precious green 😉
- 1 cup lentils (preferably French Green)*
- 3/4 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small (pickling) cucumber (or 1/3 of a big one), any large seeds removed, diced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 1/2 cups chopped parsley
* I’ve made it both with regular brown as well as du Puy lentils (french green), either one works, the French Lentils tend to stay a little firmer, which I prefer for salads.
- Bring 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt to a boil, pour over the Bulgur wheat in a bowl, cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until Bulgur is softened. It will remain somewhat chewy, that’s what you want. Drain using a fine mesh sieve, gently press on it to extract some more water.
- In the meantime, cook the lentils in 1 cup of salted water, until just cooked, (not mushy), drain if there is water left and set aside to cool.
- Chop all the vegetables
- In a large bowl combine the lentils, bulgur, parsley, cucumber, pepper and tomatoes, stir to combine and let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes for flavors to blend before serving. This also allows the parsley to get a bit softer if, like me, you used curly leaf instead of flat leaf.
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