Bustling marketplaces, rainbows of fresh and seasonal produce, and the sounds of locals hurrying to their different destinations are all part of my daily grocery shopping experience. This is the start of the day that I look forward to, for it gives me an understanding of the world too vivid for words. This recipe, like the beauty found in our everyday surroundings, is a pleasant reminder that some of the most perfect of things are also the simplest. Fresh green lentils, juicy pomegranate arils, aromatic and flavorful parsley and mint are combined with a delicious vinaigrette to create a dish bursting with Mediterranean flavors. Healthy, vibrant, and so deeply satisfying, this lentil salad is an essential in my home.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4
1 cup (180 gr.) green lentils, rinsed
4 cups (940 ml) vegetable stock (or water plus 1 vegetable stock cube)
Arils of 1 pomegranate
1 bunch (or 1 tightly packed cup) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch (or 1 tightly packed cup) fresh cilantro, chopped
1 handful fresh mint, chopped
1 red onion, finely sliced, optional
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, optional
1. Place the rinsed lentils in a pot of 4 cups (940 ml) simmering stock or water over high heat and stir in your desired amount of salt. Once the lentils come to a boil, cover, and lower to a medium-low heat. Leave to simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Once finished, stir in a bit of olive oil and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before adding to the salad.
2. For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt, and pepper until well combined.
3. In a salad bowl, combine your pomegranate arils, chopped parsley, cilantro, mint, onion, and tomatoes. Carefully fold in the lentils until well incorporated. Then, pour the dressing over the salad and gently combine all the ingredients using two serving spoons.
4.Garnish with mint, extra pomegranate seeds, feta, and serve!