Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Salad Duo

This weekend, I wanted something light for dinner that didn't require a trip to the store. We had just returned from a trip to Buffalo where we indulged in some pretty heavy (but delicious) food (read: chicken wings three times in one day. It was glorious!). After scrounging around, I came up with two salads using the same dressing: one earthy and warm while the other was peppery, bright, and tangy.  It's plenty satisfying thanks to the protein from the lentils and chickpeas, it's simple to throw together, and served alongside some fruit or good bread, it's a great summertime dinner. I also think the arugula and goat cheese would be great tossed with the warm lentil-chickpea salad, the warmth wilting the arugula just a bit.
The leftover lentil-chickpea salad is versatile as well. It would be great for a picnic, perfect with grilled meats, or served chilled alongside a different salad, as I did the next day. I simply tossed spinach with crumbled feta, toasted pecans, a few strips of grilled chicken, and a simple vinaigrette of lemon, red wine vinegar, salt, and olive oil. 
Red Wine-Lemon Vinaigrette
(enough for both the lentil-chickpea and the arugula salad below)

 2 Tb red wine vinegar
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and salt.

Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking continuously until emulsified.

Warm Lentil-Chickpea Salad
Serves 4

1/2 Tb olive oil
1 cup dried lentils
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 can chickpeas, drained
~2 Tb parsley, roughly chopped,
1-2 Tb capers, roughly chopped
~1/2 vinaigrette recipe, above

Heat sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, stirring for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add the lentils, bay leaf, and lemon zest, and cover with water. Raise the heat to high, and bring the lentils to a boil. 

Once boiling, lower heat and simmer the lentils uncovered for about 25 minutes, until tender.

When done, drain the lentils and toss in a bowl with the salt, dressing, capers, and parsley.

Serve warm (or if you prepare in advance, it can be stored in the refrigerator and served chilled).

Simple Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Pepitas
Serves 2

3-4 oz arugula
~2 Tb roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
~2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
~1/2 vinaigrette recipe, above

In a salad bowl, combine arugula, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds.

Add dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


  1. That looks really good, I need to work a lot more with lentils, I think that's gonna be my "summer thing" :)

    Have a great weekend!


  2. Thanks! I love lentils! This recipe, though a little fall-ish, is one if my favorites: