The inkling was for soup. It all started a few months ago when a friend asked if I made soup recently. She was looking for recipes because she was in a soup phase. Then she went on to tell me about a wonderful lentil soup she made. And so the seed was planted. I had lentil soup filed in my to-do list. Yet the road made a turn and I wound up making Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad.
What caused the turn in the road? It was two things. One was the opportunity to use ingredients I had on hand. There was a partial box of Israeli couscous in the pantry and lovely Meyer lemons in the fridge. The other is because Sunday Supper announced a Winter Salad theme. I thought of lentils, couscous, vegetables, and a lemony dressing. Oh yea, that was it.
One thing I needed was lentils. I also needed food, bully sticks, and toys for Milo. Well, food and bully sticks definitely. Puppies need to be fed and their chewing desire satisfied. We’ve seen the damage a puppy can do with chewing. Anyway, HomeGoods is two doors down from PetSmart. I thought I would see what toys they had. It was there where I spotted a bag of Umbrian lentils. It was my lucky day.
Lentils come in many sizes and colors. They cook differently too. Some are better for soups while others are meant for sides or salads. One of those side or salad varieties is Umbrian Lentils (Amazon affiliate link). They are small, tan and brown, plus hold their shape well when cooked. You don’t want lentils to become mush when you are tossing them for a salad.
The dressing really brightens the salad. It’s an easy one made in a blender. You can use either regular or Meyer lemons. The only difference is the dressing will have a greater tartness factor when using regular ones. You could balance it with adding a touch more honey.
Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad is a hearty one. Lentils are packed with protein and fiber. I paired them with couscous so the salad would not be too heavy. Red onion and bell pepper bring crunch to the mix. Fresh thyme pairs so nicely with lemon so it had to be included. The salad goes beautifully with ham.
What kind of salad do you eat in winter? I eat all different kinds. One I make often is Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing. Scroll down to see a whole bunch of ones made by Sunday Supper tastemakers. Also take a look at Black Lentils with Fresh Herbs and Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables for more lentil recipes.
Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 3 cups water divided
- 1 cup lentils brown or green - Umbrian recommended
- 1/2 cup pearl couscous Israeli
- 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 6 tablespoons lemon dressing
For the dressing:
Add lemon juice, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a blender. Blend until combined.
With the blender on low, slowly pour in olive oil.
For the salad:
Add 2 cups water and lentils to a medium saucepan. Bring to a fast simmer then reduce heat to low. Cook, loosely covered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
Add 1 cup water and couscous to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until done, about 10 minutes (or as per package instructions). Drain if needed.
Add cooked lentils, couscous, and remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing or seasonings as desired or to taste.
Salad can be served immediately warm, at room temperature, or chilled for serving later. If chilled, allow to set at room temperature at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
Store any remaining dressing in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a separate use. Bring to room temperature and shake to re-combine prior to using.
Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad has bell pepper, red onion, fresh thyme, and tossed with tangy lemon dressing. It goes splendidly with ham.
Summer is not the only time for salads. You can enjoy them all year even when it is cold outside. Take a look at these winter salad recipes by Sunday Supper tastemakers:
- Amish Ham Salad from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Arugula, Butternut & White Bean Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Pook’s Pantry
- Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Cooking Chat
- Beet Terrine from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Blood Orange and Salmon Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Blood Orange, Beet, and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Blue Cheese and Pear Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Breakfast Salad from Our Good Life
- Brussels Sprouts Salad with White Bean Dressing and Pecan Crisps from Beauty and the Beets
- Chill Chasing Matchstick Vegetable Pasta Salad from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chopped Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Bacon from MyGourmetConnection
- Citrus Salad from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cobb Salad from Palatable Pastime
- Colorful Veggie Filled Quinoa with a Ginger-Lemon Dressing from Positively Stacy
- Crunchy Beet & Arugula Salad from The Crumby Cupcake
- Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing from The Texan New Yorker
- Farro Salad with Roasted Squash, Radicchio and Lemon-Tahini Dressing from Caroline’s Cooking
- Grilled Chicken Salad from Real Food Real Deals
- Hot German Hot Noodle Salad from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Kale Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing from My Life Cookbook
- Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad from Magnolia Days
- Low-Carb Spinach Breakfast Salad from Life Tastes Good
- Mandarin Tossed Salad from Meal Planning Magic
- Orange and Walnut Baby Spinach Salad w/ Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette from The Freshman Cook
- Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pecans and Dried Cranberries from The Chef Next Door
- Radicchio Pear Walnut Salad from The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Rice Salad from Sunday Supper Movement
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pearl Couscous Salad from Mysavoryspoon
- Roasted Savoy Cabbage Slaw with Spicy Bacon Dressing from Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Squash and Cabbage Salad with Crispy Chick Peas from Monica’s Table
- Shredded Beet Salad from Wholistic Woman
- Simple Arugula, Fennel and Leek Salad with Citrus from Simply Healthy Family
- Simple Spinach Cobb Salad With Lardons from And She Cooks
- Spinach Citrus Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette from From Gate to Plate
- Warm Balsamic Steak Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Momma’s Meals
- Warm Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese from Nik Snacks
- Warm Cauliflower Spinach Salad with Pancetta from Taste and See
- Warm Potato and Broccoli Buffalo Salad from Sweet Mornings
- Warm Potato Salad with Arugula, Bacon and Brown Butter from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Warm Steak Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from Family Foodie
- Wilted Lettuce Salad from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Winter BLT Panzanella Salad from Hardly a Goddess
- Winter Citrus and Endive Salad from An Appealing Plan
- Winter Fruit Salad from Pies and Plots
- Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad from Moore or Less Cooking
- Winter Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Winter Salad with Fennel, Apple, Goat Cheese and Radishes from Delaware Girl Eats
- Winter Squash Quinoa Salad from Kitchen Gidget
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