Recipe: Deborah Madison's lentil salad

Recipe: Deborah Madison's lentil salad
AROMATIC: One bay leaf can enliven a lentil salad. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Total time:

40 minutes






From "The Greens Cookbook." Puy lentils are at

Whole Foods

markets, Nicole's Gourmet Foods in

South Pasadena

and Monsieur Marcel at the


Farmer's Market. Brown lentils are at Trader Joe's. Make a day ahead; the flavors improve overnight.

Lemon vinaigrette

3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper


1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons olive oil , or more to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest, the paprika, cayenne, garlic and salt. Whisk in the olive oil. The dressing should be tart. Taste and adjust seasoning, oil and lemon juice.


1 1/2 cups small French lentils (Puy or brown), rinsed

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced into 1/8 inch cubes

1/2 small onion, finely diced

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 medium red bell peppers

2 teaspoons chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

8 ounces feta cheese, divided

Freshly ground pepper

Red wine vinegar

Good quality olive oil

1. In a medium saucepan

combine the lentils, carrot, onion, bay leaf, garlic and salt. Add enough water to cover and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. While the lentils

are cooking, roast the peppers until charred on all sides. Cool and peel the charred skins. Core, seed and dice the peppers into quarter-inch squares.

3. Drain the lentils

into a bowl, reserving the liquid if you wish.

4. Fold the vinaigrette

into the warm lentils, followed by most of the red peppers, the parsley, marjoram and thyme. Crumble half the feta and stir it into the salad.

5. Taste and a


the seasoning, adding pepper and red wine vinegar to taste. Garnish with the remaining red pepper, crumbled feta and a drizzle of olive oil.

Each serving:

402 calories; 19 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams fiber; 22 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 34 mg. cholesterol; 724 mg. sodium.