When the summer gets hot, as it has been this year, nothing is more satisfying than a cold and easy salad. There’s just something I love about a fresh cold salad on a hot day, not to mention a perfect dish for outdoor potlucks. While I love tabouli, hummus and caprese salads I have recently started making a really fresh and nutritious salad for these hot days that I thought I would share. This salad combines two of my favorites, lentils and quinoa, which together are a formidable nutritional combination with with more than 16 g of protein from both the lentils and quinoa. This salad is also packed with fiber thanks to quinoa, vitamins B, C and E and iron, selenium and copper. But the real reason I make it is that it tastes great and I can make it in one pot in about 45 minutes. This recipe gives you a generous amount of food, easily enough for 4 people, which just gets better over time in the refrigerator and is perfect for snacks and lunches over a week or more.
I just love it when the tomatoes come in at the beginning of spring. My little garden is brimming with tomatoes and I grow basil, cilantro and oregano as well. Naturally I grow the tomatoes to eat them and I thought I would share my thoughts on preparing a truly delicious tomato salad.
When I was away in Turkey at the beginning of the summer, Lisa visited her friend in San Rafael and returned with the recipe for this salad. Like most salads, this can be a simple recipe, although the taste of it will linger with you and make you want to eat more. In the summer we made this or tabbouleh at least once a week since it is so easy and so flexible, using pretty much the vegetables we had on hand. The two classic dishes from which this recipe derives are Mideastern tabbouleh salad and Italian pasta with pesto, usually linguine, tortellini or even spaghetti. Because it is so tasty and so classic, there are many riffs on the basic recipe. One direction is to go toward Tabbouleh by adding mint ant parsley to the recipe, even adding feta cheese or even make the pesto from these herbs. The other direction is to make pesto from herbs other than basil, like arugula or spinach and to add pine nuts to the recipe. Because I like things simple, I will present the basic recipe and allow my readers to experiment with their own variations.
We have been trying to eat more vegetables lately and I thought I would share two of the salads that we like based on our travels. I love Indian food, goat cheese and lentils, This recipe has two out of three. In Europe, it is really hard to find kidney beans, while lentils are readily available. I actually made chili one night with lentils, which by the way was delicious. As a result, Lisa is always on the lookout for lentil recipes. She found the salad shown above in Real Simple magazine. It tastes as good as it looks, I really like the combination of lentils and barley, the barley actually tastes like Israeli couscous with fewer calories. Here is the recipie, serves four: