It was one of those days. You plan to get home at a certain time, but life with a toddler sometimes makes tasks that should take 10 minutes take 20 or 30 minutes. Those few extra minutes wasted taking off shoes and putting them back on because “I DO IT! MEGHAN’S TURN TO PUT ON THE SHOE!” and strolling to the car because someone no longer wants to be carried anywhere add up when it comes to preparing meals.
So when we got home and I saw Lemony Lentil Salad on the meal plan for lunch, my heart sank a little. Lentils don’t make for an instant lunch. Lentils need to cook. My stomach growled as I considered making a meal plan swap for something that took less time.
But as I looked out the window at the gray sky and ominous clouds, the thought of a warm lentil salad sounded just right. I grabbed a few almonds to satisfy my hunger and went to work on the salad.
It doesn’t actually take all that long to make. 30-40 minutes, but much of that is idle time. And when it was ready and I took the first bite, I knew I made the right choice. The bright lemon flavor made up for the dreariness outside. The lentils, garlic, and salty capers balance the salad perfectly. Simple ingredients, but big flavor.Print
Lemony Lentil Salad
Simple ingredients but big flavor in this lemony salad
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Makes 4 servings (unless you're really hungry, like I was, then it only makes 2) 1x
- Category: main meal
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the lentils in a medium pot and cover them with water by one inch. Add the bay leaf and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot and allow the lentils to simmer gently. Cook until they are just tender, about 20-30 minutes (mine were ready in 20). During the cooking time, check occasionally to ensure there is enough water to prevent the lentils from burning.
- Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from one lemon into a large bowl. Peel the other lemon and chop the segments roughly into small pieces, making sure to discard the seeds. Add the segments to the bowl along with the olive oil, capers, and shallots.
- If there is any water left in the lentil pot, drain it. Stir the lentils into the dressing while they are still hot. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, stirring occasionally during that time. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking.
- This salad is best served warm, so if you are making it ahead of time, make sure to warm it back up before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
- Serving Size: 1 of 4 servings
- Calories: 129
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 52.5mg
- Fat: 7.25g
- Carbohydrates: 12.75g
- Protein: 4.75g
Keywords: light lunch
Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse (don’t you just love that overused term?) that are full of fiber and protein. If you don’t already make them a regular part of your life, you should. They tend to be a kid-friendly legume, as well, so don’t be afraid to offer this to your whole family.
Meghan wasn’t as patient as I was for this salad, so I served her an avocado sandwich while I was preparing my lunch. After eating it, I decided the leftovers were mine. All mine.