Welcome to my kitchen, where I invite you to experience the flavors of the Mediterranean in this refreshing and nourishing Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Dill, and Basil recipe. As a chef, I believe that food should not only be delectable but also beneficial for the body. And this Lentil Salad recipe does exactly that by combining fresh vegetables and hearty lentils to create a dish that is full of flavor and packed with nutrients.
Lentils are a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and have been widely used for their health benefits for centuries. Not only are they an excellent source of plant-based protein, but they are also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For this recipe, I have chosen French lentils as they hold their shape well after cooking and add a great texture to this salad.
To enhance the flavor profile of this Lentil Salad recipe, I have paired the lentils with juicy tomatoes, fresh dill, and fragrant basil. Every bite of this salad will give you a burst of flavors that are bright, herbaceous, and slightly tangy thanks to the red wine vinegar dressing. Plus, it’s a perfect summer dish that can be enjoyed as a side or main course.
So let’s gather our ingredients and get started on creating a mouthwatering Lentil Salad recipe that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your body fueled with wholesome goodness.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Listen to me, my dear friends, and let me tell you why you’ll love this lentil salad with tomatoes, dill and basil recipe. This recipe is an absolute winner for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s a flavorful and healthy meal that’s perfect for those who are following a vegan or gluten-free diet. The lentils, tomatoes, and other veggies in this recipe are packed with nutrients, fiber, and protein – everything you need to keep your body strong and satisfied.
Secondly, the combination of fresh dill and basil in this recipe is a match made in heaven! These herbs offer the perfect balance of aroma and flavor to the dish. You can taste the richness of the herbs on your tongue as they release their savory flavor.
Thirdly, this lentil salad recipe is so easy to make. It takes only 30 minutes from start to finish. You don’t need any fancy cooking skills or techniques to prepare it. Just toss the ingredients together with some olive oil and red wine vinegar, season it with salt and pepper, and voila! You’ve made a delicious salad that’s perfect for any meal.
Lastly – this recipe is versatile! You can easily switch out ingredients based on your preferences or what’s available in your kitchen. Swap French lentils for red lentils or green lentils depending on what you have in your pantry. Use cherry tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes for added sweetness. Add some crumbled feta cheese if you want a little tanginess to your dish.
In conclusion, I promise that this lentil salad with tomatoes, dill and basil recipe will become one of your go-to recipes for a quick lunch or dinner option. It’s healthy, flavorful, versatile, and easy-to-make- so I encourage you to give it a try!
French Lentils: You will need 1 cup of French lentils for this recipe. These small, green-brownish lentils hold their shape well when cooked and have a slightly nutty flavor. They are perfect in salads and pair well with other Mediterranean ingredients.
Tomatoes: Use 1 lb of fresh, ripe tomatoes for this lentil salad. You can use salad tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, depending on your preference. Tomatoes are juicy and sweet and bring a wonderful freshness to the dish.
Red Bell Pepper and Red Onion: We will also need 1 red bell pepper and 1 red onion, both thinly sliced. The bell pepper adds a lovely sweetness, while the red onion provides a subtle sharpness to the dish.
Green Onions: 6 chopped green onions will add more texture to the dish, as well as some freshness and flavor.
Fresh Dill, Basil, and Parsley: Use 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil, and 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley. These herbs provide a fragrant aroma and add some zingy freshness to the dish’s taste profile.
Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar: For the dressing, you’ll need 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. These two ingredients combined create an outstanding savory taste.
Table Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Don’t forget to season with freshly ground black pepper – this adds that fine kick of flavor to your bowl! Also, seasoning with kosher salt (use about two teaspoons) gives your salad that needed balance so it tastes perfect!
The Recipe How-To
Step-by-Step Guide to Make Perfect Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Dill and Basil
The recipe for lentil salad with tomatoes, dill, and basil is quite easy to make, and it makes a perfect meal on its own or as a side dish. The combination of lentils with tomatoes and herbs creates a flavorful and nutritious salad that you will surely love.
Before starting, gather all the required ingredients:
- 1 cup of French lentils
- 4 cups of water
- 1 lb of ripe tomatoes
- 6 green onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of fresh dill leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Follow these simple steps to make your delicious lentil salad:
Rinse the lentils in cold water and place them in a pot. Add the water and a pinch of table salt, then bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into bite-size pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. Trim the green onions and cut them into thin slices; add them to the bowl with the tomatoes. Cut the bell pepper into small cubes or thin strips; add it to the mixing bowl along with the red onion slices.
When the lentils are done cooking, drain any excess water that has not been absorbed by the beans.
While they are still hot, add the hot lentils to the mixing bowl with vegetables – this helps blend flavors together.
Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, kosher salt in a separate small mixing bowl whisking together vinegar oil pepper remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt taste . Stir well so that they’re fully emulsified
Add half this mixture to your mixing bowl (with vegetables) as well.
Toss thoroughly all ingredients making sure that veggies are coated in dressing
Add remaining half dressing mixture letting everything marinate well with acid and oil.
Garnish your salad with freshly chopped dill leaves and basil leaves
Season with additional salt & fresh black pepper
Enjoy your perfectly made Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Dill and Basil on its own or paired up with any main course!
Tips For Perfect Results
To get perfect results every time you make this salad:
Cook French lentils until they are al-dente so that they don’t turn mushy.
You can use any kind of tomatoes for this recipe
Substitutions and Variations
When it comes to cooking, one of the best things about it is the wide range of substitutions and variations that can be made to a recipe. The Lentil Salad With Tomatoes, Dill and Basil recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutes and variations you can try to give this dish your own unique twist.
Firstly, when it comes to the type of lentils used in this recipe, the French lentils can easily be substituted with other varieties such as green or red lentils. However, keep in mind that different lentils may take different times to cook and may require more or less water. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
For those who prefer a vegan option, the feta cheese in this recipe can be substituted with a vegan alternative such as tofu feta or cashew cheese. Additionally, goat cheese can also be used instead of feta for some added creaminess.
If you want to add more veggies to your salad, try adding thinly sliced cucumber or cherry tomatoes to freshen things up. Red or yellow bell pepper can also be used instead of the green onion for an extra pop of color.
As for the herbs, if you don’t have dill on hand or are not a fan of its flavor, try using parsley or cilantro instead. This will give the dish a completely different flavor profile but still tastes great nonetheless.
Finally, if you want to switch up the dressing for something simpler, substitute the red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing with some lemon juice and zest for a fresh citrusy twist.
However you choose to substitute and vary this dish, just remember that cooking is all about having fun and experimenting with different ingredients!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving this lentil salad with tomatoes, dill, and basil, the possibilities are endless. This dish makes for a perfect side dish or even as a light lunch option. It pairs well with a variety of foods, including grilled chicken or fish.
For those who want to keep things light and simple, you can serve this salad on its own. The fresh flavor of the lentils combined with the tangy tomato and the fragrant herbs is simply divine. You can add crumbled feta cheese for a bit of texture and extra flavor.
For a heartier meal, you can pair this lentil salad with some grilled chicken or fish fillets. Simply marinate your protein of choice in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper before grilling it up. The mild flavor of the protein will balance perfectly against the bold flavors of the lentil salad.
If you are looking for a vegetarian option, this dish also pairs well with other vegan dishes like hummus or baba ganoush. You can also make a refreshing cucumber salad to enjoy alongside this lentil dish.
Overall, this Mediterranean-style lentil salad is versatile enough to be served in any way you please. Whether as a side dish or as a focal point, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
My lentil salad with tomatoes, dill and basil is a perfect dish to make ahead of time. You can easily prepare this salad the day before your event, making it a great option for potlucks and gatherings. The flavors will become more pronounced as the salad sits in the fridge, so it’s best to let it chill for at least an hour before serving.
To store this recipe, place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. This lentil salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days if properly stored.
If you want to reheat your lentil salad, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 1-2 minutes until warm. Alternatively, you can also reheat the lentils in a small saucepan over medium-low heat with a splash of water. Stir frequently, and be careful not to overcook the lentils, otherwise they may become mushy.
Keep in mind that this recipe can also be served cold or at room temperature, making it versatile and easy to bring along for picnics or lunch. Just add a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly cracked black pepper before serving, and voila! You have a delicious and healthy meal ready to go.
Tips for Perfect Results
Preparing the perfect lentil salad requires some experience and expertise in cooking lentils. Based on my many years of experience in the kitchen, I have gathered some tips to ensure that your lentil salad with tomatoes, dill and basil turns out perfect every time.
Firstly, use French or green lentils for best results. These types of lentils hold up well when cooked and remain tender yet firm. Secondly, do not overcook your lentils. Overcooking them will turn them into mushy bits and take away from the texture of the salad.
When boiling the lentils, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to give them an extra layer of flavor. This tip is a game-changer as it complements the other ingredients wonderfully.
Another tip is to make sure you use fresh herbs for this recipe as they elevate the flavor profile to new heights. If you can’t find fresh herbs, dried ones will also work but be mindful of the ratio as dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones.
When preparing the dressing, taste it before adding it to your salad so that you do not end up with an over or under-seasoned dish. Adjust seasoning accordingly by adding more salt or vinegar if needed.
To avoid a watery salad, drain any excess liquid from your tomatoes before adding them to your dish. It is also advisable to add your ingredients just before serving so that they retain their shape and texture.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to play around with different toppings or dressings to give it a unique flavor profile. You can try adding goat cheese or feta for a tangy taste or swap out red wine vinegar for lemon juice for a more citrusy flavor.
By following these tips, you can create a delicious medley of flavors in every bite of your lentil salad with tomatoes, dill and basil recipe.
this recipe, and you’ll have a plate full of flavorful and nutritious food to enjoy. The lentil salad with tomatoes, dill, and basil is a medley of fresh vegetables mixed with protein-rich lentils that can delight your taste buds and nourish your body.
This dish is versatile and goes well with several other dishes like grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or even a simple bowl of rice. You can make it ahead or whip it up quickly for a quick lunch, dinner or even as a party appetizer.
So go ahead, try this amazing recipe today and enjoy a healthy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and happy! Happy cooking!
Lentil Salad With Tomatoes, Dill and Basil Recipe
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup French lentils
- 1 lb tomatoes, cored and diced
- 6 green onions, trimmed and chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced small
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped (or yellow)
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or use balsamic vinegar)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch fresh black pepper
- Bring the water, table salt and lentils to boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
- Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are fully cooked, about 20-30 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Stir in the hot lentils and serve. Enjoy!
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