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Lentil Salad, 4 Traditional Variations

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“This recipe comes to me by way of "Olive Trees and Honey" by Gil Marks, a beautiful vegetarian world-view cookbook. See the bottom of the recipe, in the last few numbered steps, for the various traditions. The first version is Sephardic, a Jewish/Spanish variation, and is called "Salata de Lentejas."”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the lentils, water and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until tender, 20-30 minutes.
  2. While lentils cook, make the dressing: mix all ingredients except oil. Slowly add the oil while constantly whisking, to create an emulsion.
  3. Drain lentils, and while warm transfer lentils to a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over lentils, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Just prior to serving, add onion and tomato.
  5. Ethiopian Variation (Yemiser Selatta): Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 chopped red or yellow onions and 2-4 seeded and minced hot chile peppers, and saute until softened. Add to the salad.
  6. Greek Variation (Salata Faki): Add 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese, 1/3 cup chopped green olives, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh spearmint.
  7. Yemenite Variation (Salata Adas): Add 1 cup tahini and increase the lemon juice to 1 cup and the parsley to 2 cups. Using a large mortar and pestle, potato masher, or a food processor, mash the combined salad into a paste.

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