Archive for January, 2009

Lentil-Tahini Salad with Radicchio

img_6509If your holidays were anything like mine, then you’re probably looking for a fresh, healthy and hearty antidote to all of the season’s delicious but 0h-so-rich treats. This salad is just the thing. Crisp, fresh vegetables mingle with peppery lentils and sharp feta, all tossed together in a creamy, mellow tahini-balsamic dressing. And – it was all very easy (and pretty cheap) to make!

For those of you unfamiliar with it, tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds, not unlike peanut butter but creamier and with a strong sesame flavor. It’s one of the main ingredients in hummus and this hummus recipe may be a good way to use up the rest of the jar, if you buy it just to make this salad.

If you can’t find radicchio, simple purple cabbage would work just as well.

Lentil Tahini Salad with Radicchio
Serves 4 – 6 as a main course, 8 – 10 as a side dish

1 cup brown lentils (about 2 cups when cooked)
3 cups water
2½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1½ cup cucumber, cut into ½” dice
¾ cup red onion, finely sliced
1 bunch (2 cups) parsley, finely chopped (will reduce to about 1 cup when chopped)
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 4 cups)
½ – 1 cup feta cheese (preferably sheep’s or goat’s milk), crumbled
1½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. tahini
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste

  1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and add lentils. Boil 20 minutes or until cooked but not mushy. Drain. Do not add salt to the water, or the lentils will not cook through. Salt (and salty foods, like canned tomatoes, toughen lentils and beans and prevent them from cooking).
  2. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and crumble the feta. Combine with lentils in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, oil, tahini and pepper and mix well.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve. (If you are going to take this to work all week, reserve the dressing and add it in the morning to each serving. The salad will hold its own for a few hours, but may get soggy if it sits in the fridge all week with the dressing on it.)

January 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.