Leigh Cooks Up A Sautéed Garlic & Lentil Salad

This is the second post from our new guest writer, Leigh A. Hall. Leigh runs a really cool blog site called My Bikram Yoga Life
She tells us that she’s a big fan of Pinterest, and has heaps of vegetarian, vegan, and raw recipes pinned up there that she fully intends to try out. She has no idea how she’s going to make all of them during her current lifetime, but she reckons it’ll be fun to try.

THIS WEEK I had a friend over for lunch and got to try out the Sautéed Garlic and Lentil Salad recipe from Pinch of Yum (http://pinchofyum.com/sauteed-garlic-and-tomato-lentil-salad). This is a very simple vegan dish that you can make in about an hour.

I made the bulgur the night before. Bulgur is easy to make. You simply boil water, put the bulgur in, and 30 minutes later it’s done. You could easily make the bulgur at the same time you are doing the rest of the recipe, and it would not be a big deal. However, I was concerned about keeping up with everything the next day. I have a history of screwing up lentils (I have no idea why because they are not hard to cook), and I was a bit anxious.

Sautéed Garlic & Lentil Salad

•    1 cup dry green (brown) lentils
•    ½ cup dry light bulgur (light just refers to the coarseness of the grain)
•    3-4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
•    6-8 cloves garlic, minced
•    2 tablespoons olive oil
•    ½ cup parsley, very finely chopped
•    ¼ cup citrus/vinaigrette dressing (I used a lemon tarragon dressing)
•    salt and pepper to taste
•    fresh lemon juice to taste

1.    Cook the lentils and the bulgur according to directions, using vegetable broth instead of water. When cooked, combine and set aside.
2.    Saute the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the lentils, bulgur, and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.
3.    Season with dressing, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Serve hot or cold.

Before you cook this meal, I have two tips that will raise the fun factor:

  1. Get a friend over and a bottle of white wine. Drink the wine and talk excessively while you cook. This meal requires little thought and attention so you can drink and talk without worry.
  2. Since the meal takes about an hour to make, you might want a snack. I picked up a bag of pita chips and hummus which we had with the wine while I cooked.

DrF-Leigh-SaladThe lentils took 30-40 minutes to cook. I did use vegetable broth, as the recipe recommends, for cooking both the lentils and bulgur. It did enhance the flavor so I recommend using it (but in a pinch you can always use water).

The recipe calls for chopped tomatoes, and I am soooo lazy about chopping tomatoes. So I bought canned tomatoes (I used San Marzano – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marzano_tomato) that were already chopped. This also cut down on my prep time.

I looked for a citrus dressing in the grocery store but didn’t find anything to my liking so I made my own. Took about a minute to do. I used this great lemon-mustard vinaigrette (http://herbivoracious.com/2009/05/lemon-mustard-vinaigrette-the-simplest-and-best-salad-dressing-recipe.html). I doubled it given the size of my dish, and it made the perfect amount. You don’t need the dressing, the dish tastes just fine without it, but I think it gives it a little something extra.

We added the dressing individually. I would not put it directly onto the dish as I think this would make it soggy. I stored the leftover dressing to use later. For two people, this dish will have leftovers, and they keep very well in the fridge and reheat just fine. I am a bit leery about using the microwave to reheat this dish. I put some into a small pan with some olive oil, and it heated up just fine in under five minutes.

We loved this dish. It was simple, beautiful to look at, and thoroughly delicious. It’s also very filling given all the lentils and bulgur so a little goes a long way. A final bonus is that it is very cheap to make! I’ll be eating the leftovers for the rest of the week.


Leigh A. Hall loves to make vegetarian, vegan, and raw foods and write up her experiences about it on My Bikram Yoga Life where she also blogs about all things Bikram. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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