Two Heads of Lettuce

Simple recipes for vegetarian potlucks. Would you like to join the Two Heads of Lettuce team? Contact twoheadsoflettuce at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

lentil-bulgur salad

Since this is my first post, it's kind of fitting that this is my default potluck recipe - I probably bring this to half the potlucks I attend. Reasons: it's delicious, meant to be served cold, and a good source of protein among all the salad and pasta that inevitably turns up. It's also easily doubled - or tripled - for a crowd, and it actually improves with age, so go ahead and make it the night before. I just discovered french lentils, which are a slightly more three-dimensional version of your run-of-the-mill greens and browns, and which hold their shape better after cooking - I've never tried them in this recipe, but I think they'd be a good substition. All credit for this recipe goes to Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, my first and best source for all things delicious.

Ingredients:
(A note about these ingredients: in all of the many times I've made this recipe, I have *never* included everything. I always leave out the onion - I don't like raw onion - and at any given time, I'm missing mint, or tomatoes, or celery, or walnuts... This is okay. As long as you've got lentils, bulgur, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and some combination of other stuff, you're good to go.)

1 cup of dry brown lentils, rinsed and sorted.
1 cup of raw bulgur wheat.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 small red onion, minced
2 tbs fresh dill, chopped (or 2 tsp dry dill)
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped (or 2 tsp dry mint)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure:
Cover dry lentils with water in a small pot and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes (slightly longer for French lentils). Drain.
Place bulgur in a bowl and pour in 1 cup boiling water. Cover tightly and allow to sit for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and bulgur is soft.
Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked bulgur and lentils. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Serve either cold or at room temperature.

2 Comments:

At 11:51 AM, December 20, 2006, Blogger elf said...

I can vouch for this being an excellent recipe -- I've brought it to a number of potlucks myself. I also prefer to omit the onion, since it leaves a bit of an aftertaste. For the same reason, I do not recommend increasing the garlic. The salad has enough flavor from the lemon the lemon juice, olives, etc.

Some variations I've tried: Pine nuts or sunflower seeds can be substituted for the walnuts; fresh basil can be substitued for (or added to) the fresh parsley and/or mint; a finely chopped carrot can be added or substituted for the pepper and/or celery. You can use any variety of olives, and the feta is definitely optional.

 
At 1:38 PM, December 26, 2006, Blogger elf said...

I just remembered -- what I usually do is substitute a few thinly sliced scallions for the red onion. This adds a bit of oniony flavor without being too harsh.

 

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