Legume salad does *not* sound appetizing. Neither does bean salad.
Help me come up with a name for this delicious salad that’s a combination of chickpeas, green lentils, veggies, and a magical salad dressing. Because seriously, chickpeas + green lentils + what’s in the fridge has become my new favorite healthy dish. It’s a salad that’s easy to change up based on what’s in season and what you’ve got sitting around. This time, my delicious stuff included Kalamata olives, parsley, craisins, and cucumber. The salty sweet combination of olives and craisins is incredible! Can you imagine this with cubes of roasted sweet potato? That sounds amazing!
This is just a base recipe, so feel free to change up some of these ingredients and amounts based on what you have, and flavors you like.
1/2 cup green lentils
1 can chickpeas, drains
a few tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped pecans (Because I’m lazy I buy them pre-chopped. Hello baking aisle!)
1/2 cup halved kalamata olives (you can buy these pre-chopped too!!)
small handful of craisins
half a cucumber, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 green onions, sliced very thin
Cooking green lentils is a little like cooking pasta – you are going to drain them at the end, so the exact amount of water you start with doesn’t matter. You want the water to completely cover the lentils by a few inches. I filled my small 6 cup saucepan just shy of halfway with water, so I used, erm, about 2.5 cups? Anyways, bring your pot of water to a boil, and gently add the green lentils so as to not break the boil. Simmer with the lid mostly covering the pot for about 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils with all other ingredients except the secret sauce. Season with some salt and pepper, but don’t go crazy because the secret sauce has salt and pepper in it too.
Are you ready for the secret sauce? At it’s most basic, this 4 ingredient salad dressing (plus salt & pepper) combines pantry ingredients you already have. If, like me, you’ve discovered infused oils and vinegars, well then, you’ve got an epic secret sauce in the making.
Other than using flavor infused oils, the true secret is honey.
Yes, honey. put it in your vinaigrettes, and you’ll never look back.
Because I’m slightly obsessed with flavor infused oils and vinegars, what you see here is the Tuscan Herb oil from Fustini’s, the Summer Peach balsamic vinegar from The Pantry, random honey from the grocery store, and lemon juice. If you’ve never experienced the joy that is flavor infused olive oil, please, please find some! you won’t regret it! The secret to this salad dressing is honey, and making it couldn’t be simpler:
1/4 cup olive oil, can be all regular olive oil, all flavor infused oil, or a combination
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar – again, if you can find flavor infused balsamic, you’ll be a happy camper!
splash of lemon juice
1/2 tbsp honey
salt and pepper
mix very well with a whisk. Then mix it again. As we’re all used to, the oil and vinegar at first will not want to mix, but the honey will help everything stick together, and you end up getting a better blend once the honey is in there. Alternately, you can put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake shake shake shake it up. Be warned you’ll need to really get up in there with a spatula, since the honey is gonna stick to the inside of the jar.
Pour secret sauce on your legume salad (really! I need a better name!!), stir it all up, and chill for at least an hour.