While I *thought* I was going to return to blogging when I last hit the publish button (circa July 2, 2012), life sometimes has its own idea of what you *will* be doing (ergo, things do not always go according to plan). I will resist sharing the specifics because the reasons are too numerous, however I can tell you that I’ve truly missed blogging. Since my life has been anything but simple, in an attempt to balance my reality, I find that often times it is a simple dish, prepared well, that allows me to achieve balance and enables us to reconnect here …in one of my FAVORITE spaces.
I recently shared this dish with my friend Holly and she raved it was one that she would like to make sometime soon. Between the two of us we nearly polished off the entire bowl. It was just that good.
Lentil, Mint and Feta Salad
1 cup lentils, rinsed
6 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
5 TBS olive oil
3 TBS white wine vinegar
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 cup (2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
1 small lime, juiced
Place lentils and 1 tsp salt in bowl. Cover with 4 cups warm water and soak for 1 hour. Drain well. At this point lentils can be kept in fridge for up to two days before cooking.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place lentils, 2 cups water, bay leaf, broth, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt in medium saucepan (or 8-1/2 x 11 baking dish). Cover and bake until lentils are tender but remain intact. Approximate cook time is 40-60 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool until warm.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.
Drain lentils well, remove bay leaf. Add drained lentils, feta, olives, mint, salt, pepper and lime to dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with a bit of feta cheese before serving.