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Making plans for the weekend is the highlight of my week. What to do, what not to do, what to eat, what to wear, where to go?

The highlight of my day is evening time when I get to eat dinner and chillax with lui and the kitties:) Now I promise this isn’t a cat blog but i ought to introduce them.

Aren’t they cute!?

Anyhoo, for dinner tonight the menu said lentils. Hmm, what to do with lentils. Lentil soup? Lentil burgers? How about a summer lentil salad that can be eaten any time, any temperature? That’s it!

And thats how this recipe came about. I wanted something I could take as leftovers to the beach this weekend to relax in the hot sun and enjoy in-between my mojitos. Ahh the weekend. And yes I did just choose to make a meal based off the leftovers. We all have our quirks.

Most recipes I see with a lentil salad call for French or brown lentils. We got these at a Turkish store in Orange County and they worked okay. (That’s where we go to get our Bulgar too, can’t seem to find it anywhere else.) If I made this again, which I will, I am going to use lentils du Puy. They are a special French lentil and they don’t fall apart like the others tend to. The rest of the ingredients I had on hand and were simple as pie to assemble. I wanted to add the radish because radish salad is my favorite warm-lentil-dish topping. It seemed appropriate. Boy it was!

Almost pickled radishes rock this summer lentil salad and the lemon dressing highlights everyone at their best! Don’t forget to brightened any summer dish with fresh raw corn from the cob, sweet, crunchy and delicious. I didn’t even know I could eat corn raw until recently. Well I take that back, it’s not that I thought it had to be cooked, just never thought to eat it raw. Love it!

I’ve also been loving fresh juice in the morning. Any combo of cucumbers, carrots, beets, kale, strawberries, lime, cabbage and pineapple has been this weeks breakfast, can’t wait to see what they have at the farmers market for next week! Other than being insanely good for you, fresh juice from fruits and veggies actually taste good. Like phenomenolly good. It’s what I look forward to in the morning, even with all the effort to assemble, deassemble and clean the juicer. *Side note, I have been feeling a bit euphoric after drinking it, not sure what’s that all about, but I’m going with it.

The lentil salad left my taste buds tingling and my belly satisfied without feeling stuffed. Enjoy for dinner, on the beach for a picnic, or leftover lunch at the office!

Summer Lentil Salad

Serves 4

1 c. lentils, rinsed and picked over for “non-lentils”

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic

corn on the cob, de-corned (cut off the kernels)

1/2 onion finely diced

arugula, optional before serving

goat cheese, optional sprinkle before serving

Lemon Herb Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

1-2 tbsp evoo

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp honey

1 tbsp fresh herbs (I used oregano and basil)

1 shallot

salt and pepper

Pickled Radishes

3 radishes, sliced thin

~1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tsp honey

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp salt

extra virgin olive oil, optional drizzle before seving

Begin by making the dressing. To the food processer, (or magic bullet type machine) add the herbs and shallot, pulse until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. Set aside.

Next, for the pickles take a sealable container and add the vinegar, honey and salt. Seal and shake well, let sit and dissolve while you slice the radishes and chop the cilantro. And the radishes and cilantro, making sure all is coated with the vinegar mix. Set aside.

After you’ve thoroughly rinsed the lentils, put in a pan with 1/2 onion, the garlic and the spices. Add enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat to low for about 15-20 mins. Try not to overcook. Meanwhile assemble your toppings, cut the corn off the cob, dice the onion**, crumble the cheese and rinse the arugula. Drain the lentils and combine with the corn, onion and dressing. When ready to eat add the cheese, arugula and top with some pickled onions.

Feel free to use whatever toppings you have on hand and enjoy in salads!

**massaging the onion with salt then rinsing it off takes away a bit of the raw onion OVERpower, I recommend taking this step 🙂