I'm learning that not all lentils are created equal. They don't all take the same amount of time to cook and they don't taste the same. Although, when overcooked, they all turn to mush. I fancy Spanish Pardina Brown Lentils. They take 20 short minutes to cook. I can make them taste like chili to pour over a baked potato or cook them in water with a bay leaf to turn a light salad into a meal.
Where can you find them? Well, I haven't been able to find them in every grocery store I visit. I've been buying them in the bulk section at Central Market in Dallas. However, the other day, I discovered I could buy a 3-pound bag on Amazon and save myself some time and money. So guess where I'm buying them from now on.
Anyhoo. Let's get on with this fantabulous lentil salad.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat Vegenaise
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Blend dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cook the lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry Spanish Pardina Brown Lentils, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Add the lentils and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium-low or lower to get a lazy simmer going. Cover and cook 20 minutes exactly. Stir once or twice. Check for tenderness at the 15 minute mark. The lentils should look firm, have a bite, but still be tender. If your heat is too high, they will cook faster but fall apart. Low & slow-20 minutes is key.
Meanwhile, finely chop up
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 large green onions with tops
- 1 large celery stalk
- 1 small green zucchini
- 1 medium ripe meaty tomato
- juice from 1 lemon
Toss all the chopped veggies in a large bowl. Stir in fresh lemon juice.
Once the lentils are tender, drain off the water, then toss in the lentils with the chopped veggies.
Fill your plate with a bed of greens, pile on the chopped veggies and lentils, then drizzle on the creamy dressing.
You probably noticed the brown rice in the finished salad photo. That's a completely optional ingredient. I devoured the salad as I've instructed here. The next day, I tossed in leftover brown rice to the chopped veggie mix just to see what would happen. It was very good, too. I decided I would add brown rice IF I had it on hand or if I didn't have greens at all.