When it is hot out, there is nothing more satisfying than a cool salad. No one wants to be slaving in front of a hot stove when it feels like a hot stove outside!
I was strolling through my home-away-from-home Trader Joe’s, and happened upon a package of steamed lentils. No cooking required, just open the package. Yes I realize lentils take all of 15 minutes to cook, but that is not the point. Time saving, quality foods are my friend. Lentils are packed with protein, and a great addition to salads. One of my favorite salads is a BLT Salad, or Bacon, Lentil and Tomato Salad.
As I often do in Trader Joe’s, I stopped in the middle of the aisle, and began to think of what I wanted in my salad. I cannot tell you how many times the employees have asked if I needed help finding anything, since I stand there like a total geek, sometimes mumbling under my breath. I used to get embarrassed, but I am so over that. I think that has something to do with motherhood, especially when your child throws a complete screaming, crying hissy fit out in public. Looking crazy in Trader Joe’s is nothing now!
I decided to keep this salad fairly simple, but substantial enough for a meal. Some fresh goat cheese or chevre, some tomatoes, and dinner is served.
For a step by step on how to slow roast tomatoes click here. The technique is the same, just different tomatoes and herbs. The tomatoes can be made days ahead. Just store them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They are also wonderful on crusty bread or tossed with some cooked pasta.
I used my favorite vinegar, Honey Ridge Farms Fire Roasted Chili Honey Vinegar on this salad, but any good quality, flavorful vinegar will do.
If you would like, you can add additional vegetables to the salad to make it even more substantial. Some suggestions are:
chopped sundried tomatoes
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5-6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 2 tablespoons Fire Roasted Chili Honey Vinegar
- 5 ounces Chevre
- to taste sea salt
- to taste freshly ground black pepper
Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about an hour, until softened and collapsing. Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature then remove the thyme stems, leaving the thyme leaves on the tomatoes. You may have to gently slide the leaves off the stem with your fingers.Put the lentils into a large bowl. Using a spatula, scrape the tomatoes, thyme and all the oil into the bowl with the lentils.Add the vinegar and half of the chevre. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients. Taste the salad and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired. Place the salad into a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining chevre.
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 5 mins Yield: 4 servings