Quinoa Lentil and Tomato Salad

Just like how I believe in actually making the recipes from my various cookbooks, I also believe in making the recipes I pin from pinterest.  Therefore not only will I introduce you to a delicious, healthy and filling dinner salad that I found on pinterest, but I will also let you know that I will also be adding a new “tag” labeled “pinteresttoplate”.  Fun times all around.

Finding this recipe was perfectly timed because I had a small portion of lentils and a small portion of quinoa and a plentiful portion of farm fresh grape tomatoes.  This is essentially a vegetarian/gluten free dream packed with protein, flavor yet retaining simplicity.

Adapted from LA Times

Ingredients

1 cup French green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar, plus more for drizzling

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and strained

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 cups cherry or other little tomatoes, halved

Directions

1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, then drain the lentils and transfer them to a medium bowl.

2. Season lentils to taste with salt, pepper and about 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Set aside the lentils to cool, stirring occasionally.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot and reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cooking until the grain is soft and translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of oil on the grain and stir gently.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, one-fourth cup vinegar, one-half cup olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper accordingly.

4. Stir the cooled lentils in with the quinoa in the large bowl. Stir in the dressing, mint, parsley and tomatoes and check the seasoning. Drizzle with a bit more vinegar and oil (and salt and pepper if needed).  Chill for about an hour before serving (optional but it does allow the flavors to permeate nicely).

5. Share and Enjoy!

The thing I really love about dishes like these is that they are easily adjustable to one’s preferred palate.  All the ingredients take to seasoning very well, so if you have someone who might enjoy some spice more, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper or Sriacha sauce, but if you have someone who lights a hint of sweet, you could maybe add a touch of honey or duck sauce.  Make it your own and make it delicious!

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