One thing to know about me: I’ll only enjoy lentils if they are cold and in a green lentil salad (with one exception being Turkish lentil soups). I guess it comes from the fact that when I was a child I was mainly eating warm lentils as part of Petit Salé, translated literally as small salted, which I wasn’t a fan of. This meal consists of diverse cuts of brined pork cooked with green lentils and as you can imagine it is really salted. As lentils have a great way of soaking up flavours they also become very salty while cooking next to the pork and to me, it’s all just a big meaty salty mess.
But there was one good thing coming out of Petit Salé, which was that if there were any lentils leftover my dad would make a green lentil salad with it and this I would copiously eat. And the best part of being an adult with my own kitchen is that I can directly make myself a green lentil salad without having to go through a Petit Salé first.
This green lentil salad (or mercimek salatası) comes to me from my beloved Turkish mother-in-law. I wouldn’t strictly call it a Turkish recipe as it does not call for any specific Turkish ingredients and every country that has lentils ends up cooking up some sort of salad with it. It’s quite similar to my dad’s green lentil salad recipe with the addition of veggies and dill (always a plus).
When she served us this green lentil salad she had her own plate already prepared. When I enquired why she told me it’s because she didn’t think we could handle how much vinegar she puts into her salads. And, quite innocently, I thought ‘I like vinegar, all salads need some to spice things up’, so I tried some from her plate and literal tears came to my eyes. That’s the story of how I found out my mother-in-law really really really likes vinegar. I’ll advise you to start with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, taste and add more if necessary. If you add 5 as my mother-in-law does, please tell me and maybe you can start a vinegar-loving club or something.
HOW TO MAKE THIS GREEN LENTIL SALAD?
I used green Puy lentils for this recipe, as it is what’s most widely available in France and my instructions to cook them fit this particular type of lentils. I’m pretty sure you can cook any type of lentils this way but maybe check your lentils’ packet instructions to have more information about their specific cooking time and change the cooking process accordingly. If you want to avoid the orzo turning greenish you can cook the orzo separately in another pan and add it to the green lentil salad afterward. However, it would honestly taste the same and I could never bother.
As it is a salad recipe, this is pretty versatile. You can double the ingredients for 4 people or increase the proportions one hundredfold. You can add any other ingredients you might want, like a can of corn or any spare veggies from your fridge. Do whatever you want and you would still end up with a pretty healthy dinner. Anyway, enjoy!Print
A well-seasoned green lentil salad with a couple of veggies and orzo pasta. Perfect as a side for a BBQ or thrown quickly together for a healthy dinner.
135g green lentils (2/3 cup)
40g orzo pasta (3 tbsp)
1 big tomato, peeled and seeded
1 big spring onion
2 medium size gherkins, or more according to taste
half a bunch of dill (6 long springs)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (I usually put 2 but taste first)
Wash the lentils with cold water. Put them in a pot with 1L (4 cups) of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 min.
Add the orzo pasta to the pot and continue cooking for 10 min. Taste, the lentils shouldn’t be completely soft.
Drain everything in a mesh strainer, then wash with cold water to stop the cooking process. Put the lentils and orzo in a big salad bowl.
Finely dice the tomato, spring onion, gherkins and dill. Add to the green lentil salad bowl and stir to combine.
Add the olive oil and vinegar, season to taste. Mix, taste and adjust accordingly. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving but the longer the better as the flavors will develop.
This green lentil salad can keep for 3 days in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 473
- Fat: 15.6
Keywords: green lentil salad, lentil salad, mercimek salatası