I originally posted this recipe on my livejournal blog three years ago. This salad quickly became a family favorite. Usually, when I think of lentils I think of my mother’s lentil soup, made with the typical brown lentils. Red lentils are a little different. They are smaller and delicate. If cooked too long they will turn to mush, unlike the brown variety that needs more time to soften. As you all know by now, I love to play around with ingredients, spices and herbs. It’s a very simple recipe and I chose not to overdress the lentils. The flavor is in the spices. Feel free to listen to your taste buds and add more of what you like. If you want more of a kick – you will need more than a dash of cayenne. Just remember you can always add as you go.

Try this as a side dish or a vegetarian meal accompanied with some crusty bread, pita or naan. Or do what my daughter does – add it to a salad or a wrap.

Red Lentil Salad

1 pound bag red lentils

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1/3- cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. paprika

¼ cup white wine vinegar

Dash of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the red lentils and boil for about five minutes. The lentils should still be slightly firm and not mushy. Watch them carefully; they cook very quickly. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together, tossing well. That’s it! Really, really simple.

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