Insalata di Lenticchie-
Italians love their legumes – i.e. peas, beans, and the like. They are, in fact, an important part of the healthy Mediterranean Diet. They particularly fond of lentils and use them all sorts of ways, such as in soups, stews, and side dishes. One of my favorite ways to use lentils is in salad – particularly LENTIL SALAD or Insalata di Lenticchie. This is a great side dish for any menu, and also it makes a delicious meal on its own. It can be a great lunch item or just a nutritious and delicious snack.
Unfortunately, lentils are often like Sherlock Holmes’ “the dog that wouldn’t bark” in your pantry. They sit there, obvious, but unnoticed and unused for months on end, right under your nose, when they are the perfect choice in so many ways. Let’s get those lentils out and see what they’ll do for us aside from floating in our soup!
LENTIL SALAD is a healthy way to get some quick protein and also some healthy vegetables all in one shot. It is fresh tasting, and in the case of this recipe, it also packs a serving of fruit. You can make it ahead and enjoy it for days. That is what we usually do around our house. In fact, in any given week, you can almost count on finding a bowl of it in my refrigerator just waiting to offer a quick jump start or fast meal.
There are all kinds of lentils: red, green, brown, yellow, confetti, etc. Try all of them. They’re great and equally good and interchangeable.
Lentils are one of those rare foods that are delicious and easy to eat and also are sooo healthy for you. They help lower cholesterol, help control blood sugar, are low in calories, are low in fat, and rich in protein, B-vitamins and dietary fiber.
This salad is easy to make and really tasty. What’s not to love?
(Insalata di Lenticchie)
Serves: about 6
1 lb. cooked lentils
Handful of baby carrots – chopped
1 Stalk Celery – chopped
1 Yellow Pepper – chopped
3 Tbsp. Purple Onion – chopped or Fresh Chopped Chives
1 Tbsp. Orange Zest
1 Fresh Orange – cut up OR 1 can drained Mandarin Oranges
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Basil Leaves for garnish
Dressing: 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1/8 C. White Balsamic Vinegar – Mix well.
Rinse your lentils.
Cook your lentils according to package directions.
Chop your vegetables and add them to the lentils along with the orange zest.
Chop your fresh orange and add it to the mixture or if using Mandarin Oranges, drain and add them.
Add salt and pepper.
Mix your dressing ingredients and add to the salad.
LENTIL SALAD will be your new best friend – easy to make – easy to eat – a quick snack – goes with almost any meal – and SOOOO HEALTHY! Make some!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography
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