It is officially summer (regardless of the crazy temperatures). So, if you haven’t already enjoyed a summer bash or two, they will no doubt be coming your way. Over the next few weeks I want to share with you a few of my favorite summer salads. They are perfect for the impromptu neighborhood gathering, a July 4th BBQ at the beach or a quick weeknight dinner with the fam. Each salad features a variety of ingredients, including fresh vegis (which can easily be substituted for what you have on hand), a grain or bean, cheese, nuts and an effortless dressing. They are everything summer should be about—fun, color, simplicity and enjoying the outdoors. Feel free to make them ahead of time which will let the flavors meld and save you stress. Just add any nut/cheese or delicate vegis (like greens, which may wilt) right before serving. First up, is a lentil salad ideal for radish season. The colors on this one just scream P-A-R-T-Y!
From-Your-Garden Lentil Salad
adapted from Bon Appétit . serves 4
1 c lentils (I used black)
2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small bunch radishes, sliced very thin
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/3 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 T capers
1/2 c olive oil
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 c feta cheese, crumbled
In pot of boiling salted water, cook lentils until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and place in large serving bowl. Mix in tomatoes, onion, radishes, pepper, cilantro, olives and capers. In a small bowl, pour olive oil. Whisk in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to the lentil salad, tossing to coat. Before serving, mix in feta, tossing lightly.