Recipe Tester Note: Cucumber makes a fantastic addition to this summer salad!
For the salad
- 1 cup Puy lentils
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- Handful of parsley stems, tied together with a string
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1 cup baby arugula
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- Salt and pepper to taste
1 Cook the lentils: In a medium pot combine lentils, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaf, a handful of parsley stems. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 1 1/2 to 2 inches (about 2 1/2 cups).
Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes. The exact time will vary based on how dry the lentils are. When you get about 10 minutes out from the finished cooking time, start sampling the lentils to check for doneness—when cooked, they should be tender, but still intact. Continue sampling every 5 minutes until they’re ready.
When the lentils are done, drain them and discard the bay leaf, garlic, and parsley stems.
2 While the lentils cook, make the vinaigrette In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, salt, oregano, sugar, and shallots.
3 Mix the hot lentils with the vinaigrette: Add the hot lentils to the vinaigrette, and stir to coat. By combining the vinaigrette with the lentils while they are still hot, the lentils will absorb more of the flavor from the vinaigrette making the salad extra tasty. Allow to cool.
4 Assemble the salad: Add the prepared vegetables and arugula. If your arugula is large, stack it and slice it into thick, short ribbons before adding it to the salad. Stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste and finish with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Serve room temperature or cold, as a vegetarian meal, or alongside a sandwich, frittata, chicken, or fish. This salad is best eaten the day it’s made.