Ok, so remember those lentils I told you about in my last post? On Christmas day, I made a variation for a dinner I was invited to, and it was fabulous. This was basically an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of dish. I wasn’t totally prepared to make a something to serve 20 people, so I decided I wanted to make a lentil salad–lentils are easy to make for a large group, plus I always have them on hand–and it just sort of grew from there.
To make the lentils, follow the basics; cover any amount of lentils that you make with around 3 inches of water. Salt generously. Bring to a boil over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
I recently picked up a jar of grilled artichoke halves from Trader Joes (seriously, the best stuff is there) and decided that they’d go nicely with my lentils. I also landed on tomatoes, capers, mozzarella, red onion, greek olives, and some leftover zucchini. Remember, I said this was everything but the kitchen sink. If you had feta and not mozzarella, black olives instead of greek, be flexible. Don’t like olives at all? Leave ’em out. Get creative. Do you.
I wanted to lightly sauté the zucchini before I added it, but everything else was a rough chop before throwing it into a bowl.
When I was chopping up the artichokes, I noticed how tasty the oil that the artichokes were in was, so I thought I’d swap that out for the olive oil (about 2-3tbsp) in the basil dressing (also from the last post) . When I went to my garden, I noticed that the parsley was looking pretty and grabbed a handful of that alongside the basil. I also wanted to add a hint of garlic to the dressing, so I slow cooked some smashed garlic cloves over low for around 45 minutes, while the lentils were boiling. Add the garlic, capers, brine, mustard, vinegar, basil and parsley to the blender. With the blender on, stream in the oil. **we’re swapping out our olive oil for the artichoke oil**
With the dressing complete and added to the veggie mix in the bowl, fold in the lentils until they are coated. Cover and let rest in the fridge until serving.
This should go with out saying, but make sure you taste this. If it needs more salt, add salt, more pepper, then add pepper. I found that I didn’t have to add much extra between the saltiness of the lentils and flavors in the artichoke oil.
Feel free to garnish with extra tomatoes or herbs (I did both).