Lentil Salad with Arugula and Feta (And a Warm Honey Vinaigrette to Make Your Heart Melt)

Just a few things I’d like to say to you.  Firstly, thank you so much for actually trying these recipes.  While I try to take myself seriously as much as possible, I’m always surprised when other people do, so thank you.

Secondly, as you may have surmised sometimes it’s hard for me to know if these recipes are worth your time, because the only palate I have to rely on is my own.  And while I am constantly aiming for improvements in said palate, it’s always comforting when there are others to confirm the deliciousness (or lack thereof) of the food I make.  So when I made this salad for my family, I was doing secret self-high fives when it turned into an “ooh” “yum” “I can’t stop sticking my fork straight in the plate” kind of moment.  I’m especially flattered when these moments come from my sister, whose opinion I value immensely. My dad made roast chicken, and I served this up along with some grilled fennel.

A few notes on the salad. If you’re wondering why I ask you to chop the arugula, it’s because I’d rather the lettuce be reduced to more manageable pieces which will fit onto a fork nicely with the lentils.

The dressing: it’s a big deal for me.  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that warm dressings are to salads what iPhones are to adults: in no way necessary but a whole lot of fun. Please play around with all of the ingredient quantities – I know what I like, but perhaps you like things a touch sweeter or a tad more acidic.  Change accordingly. It might taste bad at one point (mine did) but keep playing around and I guarantee it will turn into something outrageous.

So please accept this recipe, with love from me to you.

Lentil Salad with Arugula and Feta (And a Warm Honey Vinaigrette To Make Your Heart Melt) – serves 1

  • 1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (divided), plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey, plus more to taste
  • 2 large handfuls arugula, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons feta (plus more, depending on how much you like it!!)

1. Place lentils in a small pot and cover by about ½ inch with water. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes (this varies somewhat with lentils – start checking after about 15 minutes for doneness). Once tender but with a slight bite, turn off heat and drain if there is excess water.  Allow to cool slightly.
2. In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until shallots are softened but not yet brown, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, stirring all the while, and then add honey. Turn off heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point you will need to taste and adjust seasoning depending on what you like: a little more honey for sweet, olive oil to thin out strong flavors, vinegar for acid, or salt and pepper.
3. In a medium bowl toss arugula with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add lentils and feta, and toss evenly with dressing. Serve.

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