Recipe courtesy of Alice Waterss The Art of Simple Food.
1 cup lentils (French green lentils or black Beluga lentils are the best varieties to use for lentil salads because they have lots of flavor and they hold their shape when cooked.)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Fresh-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions or
3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1. Sort and rinse the lentils. Cover with water by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender all the way through (adding more water if necessary), about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
2. Toss the lentils with the red wine vinegar, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if needed.
3. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, scallions or shallot, and parsley. Stir to combine. If the lentils seem dry and are hard to stir, loosen them with a bit of the reserved cooking liquid.
Add 1/2 cup diced cucumber.
Dice very fine 1/4 cup each of carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until tender in a couple spoonfuls of olive oil. Cool and stir into the salad in place of the scallions or shallots.
Garnish with 1/2 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese.
Toast and crush 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and add to the salad. Substitute cilantro for the parsley.
Dice 1/4 cup flavorful sweet peppers, season with salt, and let stand to soften. Stir in with the scallions or shallots.
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