Mediterranean Lentil and Bulgur Salad

Lentils are one of the world’s oldest health foods. This little lens-shaped legume came to the Americas in the early 16th century. During World War II, people began to see it as a low-cost, high-protein meat substitute. Both my mother and grandmother served them often. Two of my favorites are lemon-y lentil and Chickpea Soup and Minestra di Lenticchie.

Bulgur has been a staple food in the Eastern Mediterranean since Biblical times. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, protein, B-vitamins and iron, which is essential in making red blood cells.┬áThis fiber-rich food can help to keep you full, pull cholesterol away from the heart, and keep blood sugars stabilized by adding glucose into the bloodstream slowly.

This is a healthy, satisfying salad any time of the year and it is very versatile. In the heat of the summer, we enjoy it cold or at room temperature (perfect picnic food), during the cooler months of the year, it can be heated up and served warm.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry lentils, cooked, cooled slightly (not quite 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup dry Bulgur, cooked, cooled slightly (3 cups cooked)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup agave
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  1. In a small bowl (I use a 2-cup, glass measuring cup), whisk the olive oil, vinegar and agave until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils and Bulgar with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the raisins and scallions. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in the walnuts.

 

 

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