I know, I know. Lentil and rice salad sounds boring, like the food your hippie aunt who is obsessed with healthy eating would feed you when you stayed over at her house. But let’s be real. Healthy eating? It’s not the worst thing in the world. And this salad is actually pretty damn good.
Lentils are packed with protein, fiber and folate and they’re also small and kind of cute. Combined with rice, parsley, tomatoes and shallots, they make a perfect warm-weather salad. Make this for your next cookout, potluck, or whatever social event you’re going to where food will be consumed. It’s easy, tasty and healthy; I’m sure you aunt or whoever might eat this salad with you will approve!
Lentil & Rice Salad
makes 8-10 servings
total hands on time: about 15 minutes
total time: 40 minutes (depending on your rice)
What you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup dried lentils (you’ll have some left over)
- 2 cups dry rice, white or brown
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 shallots, diced (the whole shallot, not just the clove)
- 1/4 plus 1 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika to your taste
What you’ll do:
1. Cook your lentils by placing them in a saucepan and just covering them with water. Bring them to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Cook your rice according to the directions on your package.
3. Once the rice is finished cooking, combine lentils and rice in a large bowl.
4. Chop shallots, tomatoes and parsley and add them to the bowl. Mix well.
5. Assemble dressing: whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.
6. Slowly pour the dressing on the rice and veggie mixture a little at a time, stirring around so that the dressing evenly coats everything.
I ate this lentil salad for lunch on a regular old weekday, so it’s good as a main or as a side, hot or cold. You could add some fresh grated parmesan if you’d like, too. I especially dig the recipe because it’s a good alternative to pasta salad and it’s easily customizable: add other veggies you might like, maybe onions instead of shallots, or carrots and some fresh summer zucchini.