Monday, October 3, 2011

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad

This simple salad from Gourmet magazine has become a regular favorite at our house after I made a Mediterranean-themed dinner for my in-laws.  The fresh flavors make this salad a tasty side dish to an easy grilled chicken dinner.  The salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days and is ready-to-eat at any time! =)  Here's the recipe:

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
Gourmet  | September 1995

  • 1 cup lentilles du Puy* (French green lentils) or brown lentils
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bunch arugula, stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped
  • 2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)

  1. In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
  4. Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Some things I've changed after making this several times:
  • I really like using pearled couscous in this salad because its shape is more similar to the shape of the lentils.
  • Don't skimp on the garlic--I usually use up to three cloves.
  • If you can't find arugula, any spring mix blend also works well.
  • A great addition to the salad is chopped green onions (use 3-4)

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