This delicate salad is full of punch. Little French lentils are tossed with tangy yogurt, fragrant spices, and just enough cayenne pepper to add heat. Lemon juice and cilantro freshen and lighten the flavors. Serve with croutons or grilled pita bread.
1 bay leaf
1/4 medium size red onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
1 small carrot, diced, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, diced, about 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop the onion in for 15 seconds. Scoop out with a strainer and toss with a splash of Champagne vinegar. Drop the carrot in for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar, spices, salt, cayenne, and black pepper.
Drain the lentils when tender; remove the bay leaf and immediately toss with the vegetables and the yogurt mixture. The lemon flavor will be strong at first, but the lentils will gradually absorb it. Toss in the cilantro just before serving.
Ease of Preparation: Moderate
Preparation Time: 10-15 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min
Servings: 4 to 6
Recipe By: Annie Somerville
From: Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant
Used with permission of Scribner