Mediterranean Lentil Salad

There are certain foods I find myself slightly obsessed with. Any type of food that can be described as mediterranean can easily fall into that category. There’s just something about the simplicity of the food from that part of the world, the flavors that come together with just a few fresh ingredients – well let’s say, that food makes me happy.

Unless I’m cooking it at home, I don’t get a mediterranean fix that often as far as restaurants are concerned. I just haven’t found a ton of restaurants in my area (other than a couple favorite Greek restaurants) that serve good hummus, pitas and falafels locally. Maybe I need to look harder. One place I tend to eat at often enough (to get that fix) is at a place in our mall’s food court – of all places, yes I know. They are that place that serves gyros, lavash wraps, hummus, all kinds of fresh tomato and cucumber salads and my favorite falafel. I’m sure most malls have a place like this, but what I love about this one is that it’s run by the same owners, a married couple and sometimes their son, for over 10 years (well at least that’s how long I’ve been going there). Last time I was there, I ordered a falafel pita and had to choose 2 sides to go with it. I usually go for the tomato & cucumber salad and hummus, but this time I spotted something I hadn’t seen before  – a simple lentil salad.

I’ve been pretty much thinking of this simple lentil salad ever since, and with a little consultation from my friend Liz over the phone, I decided it was time to make my own simple lentil salad at home. It’s a wonder I haven’t made this before, I absolutely love lentils but for some reason have stuck with only cooking them up in soups like this Spinach, Tomato and Lentil Soup as well as my family’s traditional Lentil Soup, for as long as I can remember. This is about to change. This salad hits the spot and is so so good for you. With warmer weather coming up, I can guarantee it will be a staple in my fridge for quick lunches or for when I need a protein packed snack.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

A refreshing protein packed salad that you'll love for lunch or as a snack. Feel free to splash on additional lemon and vinegar, or a drizzle of olive oil, to freshen up the salad after chilling in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • big pinch of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 carrots, small diced
  • 2 celery, small diced
  • handful of chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, small diced
  • 4 oz crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Cook lentils according to directions. I added them into a pot and covered with 3 cups of water and cooked for 10 minutes. I turned off heat and let sit for a few minutes to finish cooking and absorb a little more water.
  2. Drain lentils well and place in a large glass mixing bowl. Add zest of lemon, juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to lentils and stir. Taste for seasoning and set aside to cool. (You can also put into the refrigerator at this time to finish prepping later. Make sure to add lemon, oil and seasoning before letting cool completely, the lentils will absorb the flavor best while still warm.)
  3. Add your diced vegetables (carrots, celery and olives) to your bowl of lentils and combine. If serving immediately add cucumber and feta cheese. If not serving immediately you may want to add those right before serving. Taste for salt and pepper and enjoy!

Notes

I'm unsure if celery is a traditional ingredient for this salad or not, but I decided to add it in. Chopped red or green onion would be a great addition to the lentil salad as well so feel free to add it if you like.

http://aggieskitchen.com/2013/04/16/mediterranean-lentil-salad/

   

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29 Responses to “Mediterranean Lentil Salad”

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar posted April 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

    This looks sooo fabulous!!

  2. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite posted April 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Aggie this looks great! I’m ashamed to say that I have never tried lentils! I know shocking!

  3. The Healthy Apple posted April 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I love making lentil salads; this looks great Aggie! Such a nice spring lunch!

  4. Cassie | Bake Your Day posted April 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I love these flavors, Aggie. A simple salad is the perfect lunch for me!

  5. Erica posted April 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’m so with you! Put feta cheese on any meal and I’m usually in ;). What a great lunch or dinner! And I bet it just gets better with time

  6. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted April 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I want 50 bowls of this right now!!!!!! This looks so incredible.

  7. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles posted April 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I love the flavors of the Mediterranean as well – what a gorgeous salad!

  8. Julia posted April 16, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Oh how I love this salad!! I make at least one Mediterranean salad a week. I love the lentils in this.

  9. Paula - bell'alimento posted April 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I love anything with lentils!

  10. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef posted April 17, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I love this salad. I could live on Mediterranean food forever.

  11. Tracey posted April 17, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I still haven’t tried lentils yet, I’m pretty sure I’m the last person to get on board with them. Your salad sounds amazing, great flavor combo! It’d be a wonderful lunch :)

  12. Becky at The Two Bite Club posted April 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I am SO going to make this! I just bought a bag of lentils with no plans on what to do with it. This’ll be perfect. I love Mediterranean flavors, too.

  13. michelle posted April 17, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I’m completely with you on the “anything mediterranean” as comfort food. This salad looks awesome!

  14. Ali | Gimme Some Oven posted April 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

    This is total comfort food to me. I love a good lentil salad — and yours looks absolutely delightful!

  15. Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk posted April 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    This looks so refreshing and yummy!

  16. Bree {Skinny Mommy} posted April 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I am a sucker for anything with feta! This salad looks delish. I tried to make a lentil soup last week= big fail!!! I will need to try yours instead!

  17. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted April 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    This salad looks absolutely amazing, Aggie! Love all those Mediterranean/Greek inspired flavors, especially this time of year. This would be great at my summer BBQs. Thanks!

  18. natalie@thesweetslife posted April 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    ha we’re on the same wavelength–i made something SO similar last week….except i was wishing i had kalamata olives to add to mine!

  19. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies posted April 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I love a good lentil salad too. It’s one of my favorite warm weather lunches. I’ve never put olives in mine before, but now I’m going to have to start! :D

  20. Jen @ Savory Simple posted April 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

    What a beautiful salad, Aggie!

  21. Flavia posted April 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    This salad looks wonderful, Aggie! I love lentils (and any other legume) and I love cold salads that you can eat throughout the week. They are also so versatile and adaptable to many other flavors and ingredients, so they can be customized. Bravissima!

  22. Jersey Girl Cooks posted April 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I love how you finely chopped the veggies. Looks so fresh and delcious!

  23. Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts posted April 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Aggie,
    This looks like a great grain-free (not that I care about grains or no grains, just an observation) twist on tabbouli–with benefits. You’ve now inspired me to try a few more twists, using lentils as a base. What a terrific idea!
    I’m quite glad the mint plant I stuck outside the kitchen door hasn’t died yet ;)
    Thanks!

  24. Nutmeg Nanny posted April 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Oh goodness, I love Mediterranean food too, it’s just so delicious :) this dish looks amazing!

  25. Sargento Cheese posted April 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    This looks like a refreshing and delicious meal. We love the combination of fresh and cooked ingredients with cheese to top it off. If you’re not a feta fan, we recommend trying this amazing recipe with Sargento Blue Cheese. The fun taste will only add to this amazing recipe.

  26. Lee posted September 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I omitted the carrots, olives and feta and served it over fried cabbage. I added red bell pepper and a little left over brown rice. It was delicious!!!!!

  27. Suzanne posted June 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This salad is so yummy, my 8 year old loves it. Most of the time we don’t make the dressing.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted June 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Thanks so much for the feedback, love that your 8 year old loves it!!

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