Though I’m sure the original recipe is awesome, to be honest I doubt that I’m ever going to try it. Because I LOVED my version. (And other people evidently did too – the bowl was wiped clean at the a church potluck, and I got a lot of compliments!)
My recipe is the same as the original in essence, and really only has 3 differences:
– I used limes instead of lemons or oranges (because that’s what I had in the fridge!)
– I used shallots instead of scallions (ditto the above.)
– I added cilantro (because (a) I LOVE CILANTRO and (b) cilantro and lime ALWAYS taste good together.)
And though I’m clearly hugely plugging for my version, here is the even better reality of this recipe: It is SUPER tweakable. Go ahead, make it your own! If I ever get over this version, my next plan is to try it with orange juice/zest, fresh parsley, and dried cranberries.
And the best of it is, though this is a meatless salad it is still a good source of protein! This baby is just as valid a main dish as it is a side. So, here goes:
Cilantro-Lime Lentil Salad
1 cup green lentils, picked over
2 shallots, thinly diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or apple cider vinegar
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime (about 3T)
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro
- Rinse the lentils under cold running water in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- While the lentils are cooking: zest and then juice the lime, and put both in a large mixing bowl. Chop the shallots and put them in the bowl as well, and then add the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir it together – the oil will help stop the shallots from releasing the gases that make your eyes sting.
- When they are done, drain the lentils and rinse in cold water, and drain again well. Nobody likes a soggy salad.
- Place lentils in the large bowl and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
- Allow salad to rest refrigerated for at least 20 minutes to let the flavors combine. Right before serving, chop the cilantro and mix into the salad. Serve.