This is one of my absolute favorite summer salads. Bright, simple and refreshing. I will serve it at every damn picnic :)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup dried green lentils
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
4 vine tomatoes, diced
1 large shallot, sliced thinly (I like them raw, but you could saute them with the garlic)
1/2 small cucumber, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced thinly or julienned
1 handful fresh herbs (basil and/or parsley)
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of oregano (optional)
Place 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute for several minutes. Add vegetable broth or water, lentils and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 35-40 minutes (add more liquid along the way if necessary). Remove from heat, remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and let chill. When cold, toss with tomatoes, shallot, cucumber, carrot and herbs.
Make Dressing: combine 1 tbsp. olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and a pinch of oregano.
Toss salad with dressing and bon appetit!