Saturday, August 26, 2017

Couscous and French Lentil Salad

This easy bean and pasta salad provides a wonderful showcase for a variety of fresh herbs. Feel free to experiment with whatever is available in the garden or the grocery store. Serve as a vegetarian main course or as a delicious side dish.

For the Lentils
1 cup French green lentils (du Puy)
6 cups water
1 Tbs. Champagne vinegar

For the Couscous
1 tsp. olive oil
1¼ cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth

For the Dressing
6 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
1 Tbs. dry white wine
2-4 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

To Finish the Salad
3 small seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 bunch of scallions, white part chopped, green tops sliced
½ to 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil, dill, or a combination

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add lentils, return to boil, cover and simmer until tender but not falling apart, 13-15 minutes. Rinse to cool. Transfer lentils to bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of champagne vinegar.

2. Bring broth to simmer in a small saucepan. Heat ½ Tbs. olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Toast the couscous in the oil, stirring constantly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add boiling broth. Cover and simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Fluff to remove clumps and let cool. (Couscous may be rinsed in cold water to cool more quickly.)

3. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, wine, garlic, and salt and pepper. Stir dressing into couscous. Fold in lentils and remaining ingredients. Chill well. Serves 6.

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