Lentil Salad with Grapes

A few weeks ago I made Avocado Lentil Salad, and promised another favorite Lentil Salad recipe.  Well, I finally had a chance to make it last night!  This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network and is delicious.  The two recipes are very similar – both have grape tomatoes, pistachios, and a lemon dressing, but this one has grapes instead of the avocado.  There are also some cucumbers and scallions for added crunch and flavor.  I don’t know what it is about the combination, but the grapes in a lemon dressing mixed with all of the other ingredients is really great.  In my mind the lentils are kind of irrelevant – just some extra nutrients added to a really yummy combination of fruit, veggies, and nuts – how can you go wrong?

I made some changes from Giada’s original recipe – she includes red bell peppers, which hubby and I don’t love, so I subbed tomatoes.  Also, she uses hazelnuts, but the first time I made this I didn’t have any around and ended up using pistachios instead – I loved the results so I haven’t tried it the original way.  But I’m sure you could include whatever veggies and nuts appeal to you if you don’t like my substitutions!

We ate this salad for dinner with some whole wheat bread, but it would also make a great side dish for a party or barbeque, especially if you have vegetarians in your crowd who will appreciate something hardy.

 

 

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Lentil Salad with Grapes
adapted from Food Network

1 pound cooked lentils
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups seedless grapes, cut in half (red, green, or a combination of both)
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios (I use roasted and salted)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

Dressing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.  Pour over salad and toss until all ingredients and dressing are well distributed.  Serve, or refrigerate for later – this is one of those salads that gets better with a little time.

Makes approximately 4-6 main course servings

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