Hot summer days require something cool to go with whatever you’re grilling. Cold salads fit the bill nicely. As you’ll see, I like making a lot of different salads in the summer. They can be made ahead in bulk and chilled in the fridge, ready to be served or packed up and taken on a picnic (along with those deviled eggs). This lentil salad is an awesome one for the summer and Cheryl’s usually pretty happy when she sees it in the fridge.
Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the summer months. You’d rather be outside on the porch or deck grilling something. Personally, I like to have dinners all prepped and ready to go which is why making a salad like this great. It doesn’t take much effort and it goes a long way. This salad is simple matter of cooking the lentils and mixing in other flavors. Less time in the kitchen, more time on the porch with a cool summer cocktail. It’s also a refreshing change from the standard macaroni and potato salads (ahem…see earlier post on egg potato salad). Not that there’s anything wrong with those!
I always want to add some parsley to finish this lentil salad but each time I make it and taste for seasoning I find it’s fine without any garnish. The flavors work. Sweet, salty, citrusy. Grilled sausages are absolutely perfect pairing with this salad!
Summer Lentil Salad
- 1 lb lentils
- 1 C carrots, small dice (approx 1 large carrot)
- ¾ C red onion, small dice
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 tsp cumin
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Juice from half of a lemon
- Olive oil to drizzle in for taste
- ½ – ¾ tsp salt
Add lentils to 8 C salted water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until lentils are tender yet still firm. Drain, and set aside to cool.
Sauté the carrots, onion, and cumin together in 1 Tbs butter until they begin to soften. Add to the cooled lentils. Add a Tbs of water to the pan, swirl/stir around to pick up the rest of the cumin, and pour into the lentils. Mix well.
Stir in the lemon zest, juice, and salt. Serve warm or chilled.