This dish is recreated from my memories of a lentil salad an old roommate of mine made. It’s a welcome change from mushy lentils, and bright and colorful. I really like the contrast of the big vegetables and little lentils, but if you prefer cut the vegetables finer. There’s really no rules here, change up the vegetables depending on what’s in your CSA Share!
This is really easy to make and completely vegan & gluten free. However, omnivores might like a bit of crumbled local sausage stirred in. Serve warm or chilled, this will travel well for potlucks. I used French black lentils, which I like because they don’t fall apart, yet cook quickly. You can also use brown or green, but red lentils usually cook up mushy.
Sweet & Sour Lentils
1 cup dry French lentils
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 ripe peppers
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Optional: 1 minced hot pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
Cook the lentils: Rinse and sort the lentils. Place in a saucepan with the water, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring to a high simmer (just before a full boil), then reduce heat and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until soft. Add water if necessary to keep lentils covered.
Prep the vegetables: Scrub the carrots and thinly slice. Slice the peppers into big slices. Cut the onion into eighths and separate the layers. Mince the peppers if using.
Cook the vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the carrots, stir to coat with the oil, then cover for 3-4 minutes to soften the carrots. Add the garlic, peppers, and onions. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are bright and starting to soften, but still crisp.
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and sweetener. Gently toss the lentils, vegetables, and dressing together. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.