This salad is hearty enough to be served as a main course. Beluga lentils work well in a cold salad because they're firm and tend to hold their shape. For a wonderful textural contrast, serve the salad with bread.
- 1 cup beluga lentils, or French green lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 celery stalks (about 1 cup), finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, cut into small dice
- 1 small red pepper, roasted, peeled, and cut into small dice
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces feta cheese (about 1 cup), coarsely crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 heads baby lettuce, for garnish
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch slices
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add lentils, garlic, and bay leaf. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain, and rinse lentils under cold water. Discard garlic and bay leaf. In a large bowl combine lentils, celery, onion, pepper, parsley, and rosemary.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil. Drizzle over lentil mixture, add feta, and stir gently to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of baby lettuce, and garnish with cucumber slices.