Mediterranean Lentil Salad is not only delicious, but super simple to put together. And of course, it's a super healthy main or side dish.
Lentils: Nutritional Powerhouses
. Lentils may seem like an unassuming little pulse, but they pack a mighty nutritional punch. High in protein, B vitamins, folate, and fibre, and loaded with minerals, in particular iron. Lentils are fat free, low in calories and heart healthy. These guys should be part of every healthy diet. If you want to know more about the nutrition benefits of lentils, there's some good info: Everything You Need To Know About Lentils
What's The Mediterranean Diet?
We've all heard about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. It features an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts with heart healthy olive oil. Herbs and lemon juice, are the primary flavour agents. It's not only good for you, but makes you feel great too. This Mediterranean lentil salad has a lot of that going on, right here.
Why Use Lentils?
Dried lentils store well in the pantry or cupboard, and they're very budget friendly, too, so there's a lot to love about them. Lentils easily take on the flavours of any dish and they are great for stews, soups and salads. The two most common types of lentils are green lentils, and split red lentils. Whole green lentils work best for salads like this because they keep more texture after cooking. They are also perfect for veggie burgers, too, like this Southwestern Veggie Burger. Red lentils, Because they are split, cook faster and work well in soups, stews, and curries, like this Moroccan Chicken & Lentils, or Roasted Cauliflower Curry.
You can put this simple but tasty Mediterranean lentil salad together quickly and it will keep well in the fridge to take along for lunch. It's a big salad, so it's perfect for potlucks or picnics too. I like to keep a jar of marinated artichokes and as well as capers in the pantry, but don't worry if you don't have them on hand. This salad is still full of flavour without them.
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- ½ cup red onion diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 cup cucumber chunks
- ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts quartered
- ¼ cup capers
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano chopper, or 2 tsp dried
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese optional
- 2 tsp fresh parsley chopped
- Rinse lentils, put in a pot, and add water to cover by an inch.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until lentils are just tender. Be careful not to over cook, or your lentils will be mushy.
- Drain lentils and allow to cool.
- Toss with all remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavours to meld.