Recipe: Lentil salad with tomatoes, zucchini and arugula

Recipe: Lentil salad with tomatoes, zucchini and arugula.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

1/4 pound zucchini, cut in 1/2 -inch dice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 cup lentils

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup torn arugula leaves

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1. Place the diced zucchini in a colander and sprinkle liberally with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat evenly and set aside to drain until the zucchini has begun to soften (the cut edges will appear slightly rounded), about 30 minutes. Rinse well under running water and pat dry with a tea towel.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water and add them to a large pot of rapidly boiling, liberally salted water. Return to a simmer and cook until they are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the lentils, rinse under running water to stop the cooking, and turn them out into a tea towel to dry and finish cooling.

3. Stir the lentils, chives and garlic together in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with with one-half teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. The mixture should be highly seasoned.

4. Stir in the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and lemon juice. Gently fold in arugula leaves. Add just enough olive oil to barely moisten the arugula (you may not need to add any). Stir in the pine nuts and serve at room temperature.

Each of 4 servings: 268 calories; 14 grams protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 591 mg. sodium.