Lentils and rice, eaten together, form a complete protein. Though it’s taken a number of years, more Americans are finally embracing the lentil. We eat a lot of them, especially French Green lentils and Beluga lentils. Both of these lentils hold their shape if they are cooked until just tender, and therefore make a great addition to salads. This is one of our go-to weeknight dinners. We make enough of it for the Stern boys to take a large serving each in their school lunches. I even eat leftovers for breakfast. Once dressed this salad will last about three days in the fridge. It’s a family favorite.
Vegan Rice and Lentil Salad
Makes 8 servings
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- ½ cup French green or Beluga lentils
- 8 scallions, finely diced, white parts only
- ½ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 cups Persian cucumbers, diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- ¾ cup vinaigrette
- salt to taste
Bring water, olive oil and 1-teaspoon salt to a boil in a lidded 2-quart saucepan. Stir in rice. Bring back to a boil, cover pan, lower to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and then spread rice across a sheet pan to cool.
While the rice is cooking, pick over the lentils and rinse them in a sieve. Add 3 cups of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the lentils and boil gently, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender. Drain and spread with the rice on the sheet pan to cool.
Place the scallions, parsley, dill, cucumbers, and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice, cumin and vinaigrette.
Once the rice is cool (about ten minutes), gently toss the rice with the vegetables in the large mixing bowl. Gradually add half of the dressing. Toss to coat. Add about ½ of what is left of the dressing. Toss to coat. Taste. Add salt if needed. Add final amount of dressing to taste.