Another wonderful salad for a summer’s day. I love one bowl meals and this salad includes all the components to meet my needs: Green lentils and goat cheese for protein, pasta for carbs, and lots of colourful vegetables.
For those of you who would like to include more vegetarian meals into your diet, 2016 has been deemed the International Year of the Pulse. Examples of pulses are dried peas and beans, lentils, and chickpeas. And there are so many varieties available that you wouldn’t need to reuse a pulse for a meal for a long while! Pulses are high in protein and fibre and a bunch of vitamins. And they are Canadian grown, mainly in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Here are two great sources of information, downloads, and recipes at:
The recipe I want to share with you is from the Lentils Canada website – Mediterranean Lentil Pasta Salad. I followed it fairly closely except I substituted goat cheese for the feta. Personally I like the taste of goat cheese better, but if you prefer feta, go for it!
You can use canned green lentils or prepare your own from dried. I liked the diverse colours of textures of mixed cherry/grape tomatoes, a sweet red pepper, salty pitted Kalamata olives, bottled artichoke hearts and English cucumber.
I used corkscrew shaped pasta – cavatappi. Use any small pasta such as penne or rotini.All the veggies are chopped and mixed with the lentils while the pasta cooks.
The dressing is easy to prepare in a mason jar and shaken to mix. A simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, crushed garlic, dried oregano, sugar, salt and pepper.
Lucky me, I have fresh basil plants on my back porch. A handful of basil leaves and a cup of goat cheese and we are ready to assemble.
A beautiful salad to bring to the table for lunch or dinner.
Mediterranean Lentil Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese
derived from the Lentils Canada wonderful website, full of information and recipes
1/2 lb. uncooked small pasta, such as penne, rotini or macaroni
2 cups cooked green lentils
I cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 red sweet pepper, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 cup quartered canned or bottled artichoke hearts
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 big handful of fresh basil, finely sliced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together cooked pasta, lentils, tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, artichokes, and olives.
- In a mason jar, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper, and shake well. Pour dressing over the salad and stir to combine.
- Stir in feta cheese and basil. Mix well and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.