A healthy dish as promised. There's no sugar, no deep fryer, there is not even meat in the mix. Just veggies, legumes, fresh basil, and a very tasty vinaigrette. "Mmm-- this is so good, Mom" is what my pickiest eater said after her first bite. Even my son, who doesn't care for sun-dried tomatoes, enjoyed this dish.
It is delicious on its own as a vegetarian meal, but would also be a nice side to a chicken cutlet or lamb chop. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and you also have a healthy alternative for the week's work and school lunches.Printable Recipe
Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette
12 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Salad
4 cups cold water
1 cup French green lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 large English cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
For the Vinaigrette
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, Parmesan, salt and pepper to a thick paste. With the motor running, add the oil slowly through the feed tube until the dressing is emulsified. Taste for seasoning; set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water and lentils to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender, but not losing their skins. Thoroughly drain them in a colander then spread them out on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool slightly; transfer to a large bowl.
Add the chickpeas, red onion, bell pepper, and cucumber to the lentils; toss to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the mixture and toss until the legumes and vegetables are evenly coated. Sprinkle the basil over the salad and toss gently to avoid bruising the basil. Taste for seasoning.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to develop. Serve chilled or at room temperature with a drizzle of additional balsamic vinegar if needed. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Once Upon a Tart, by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau