Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lentil and Bulgur Salad

This little salad is great for several reasons. Not only is it very tasty, it can be made a day or two ahead of time (it's great for lunch the next day), and it uses staples that I almost always have on hand: lentils, bulgur, some veggies, and lemon juice. It also comes together pretty quickly.

Lentil and Bulgur Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish

1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
2/3 cup small green lentils
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup finely chopped celery (mine was in roughly 1/4" dice)
2/3 cup finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place shallot and half of lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside. Simmer lentils in a small saucepan, covered by 2 inches of water, until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, add to shallot mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Cool, stirring frequently.

In another small saucepan, combine 1.5 cups water, bulgur, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until water is completely absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Add bulgur, vegetables, parsley, remaining lemon juice, and olive oil to lentil mixture and mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or olive oil if desired. Can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.