Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

IMG_8793I’m currently obsessed with this chickpea and lentil salad! I first made this a few years ago when my oldest son was a baby. It’s adapted from my favourite food blog – Smitten Kitchen. I’m not sure why, but at some point I forgot about it and hadn’t made it in a long time. Then it popped up in my facebook feed a few weeks ago and I immediately started salivating.

There’s something addictive about the tangy tahini dressing with fresh lemon juice and smoky fresh toasted cumin. I could eat this everyday!

At one point in the Smitten Kitchen post for her version of this Chickpea and Lentil Salad she comments “making the salad might seem pesky” and I wholeheartedly agree based on the original recipe! However, the version I have settled on is trimmed down and yet still packed with delicious and complex flavours. It’s now a quick enough endeavour for an everyday lunch that still brings a party to my mouth!

I always have a cupboard full of canned chickpeas (hummus is a staple of our diet around here) but have never been a fan of canned lentils – they’re smaller and less flavourful in my opinion. So, I use dried lentils which I simply cook on the stove until softened. I don’t bother with all of the flavourings she uses in the original recipe for the lentils. And, if I’m in a hurry, I simply omit the lentils all and throw together the other ingredients for s super speedy and satisfying lunch and if I want to fill it out a bit I’ll even serve it up over a bed of baby spinach.

The more plant-based our diet becomes, it’s important to develop my repertoire of legume recipes to make sure we’re getting our protein – especially with my brood of three growing boys. This recipe is a great staple for every week and not one that I’m likely to let fall off my radar again!

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 CAN CHICKPEAS – drained and rinsed

3/4 CUP DRIED GREEN LENTILS – they’ll expand a bit to about 1 cup when cooked

1/4 CUP CRUMBLED FETA

1/4 CUP FRESH CILANTRO – chopped gently, or cut with scissors directly into the salad (my method of choice courtesy of Nigella Lawson)

1/4 RED ONION – sliced into 1 inch strips

JUICE OF 2 LEMONS

2 TBSP OIL – I use Canola, but substitute for Olive Oil if you prefer

1 TSP GROUND CUMIN – yes, freshly toasted is a must!

1 TSP GROUND CORIANDER

1/2 TSP SALT

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the lentils in boiling water until softened.

Slice the onions and add to a small bowl with the juice of 1 lemon and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the oil, tahini, coriander, cumin and remaining lemon juice and mix well to make the dressing.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to ensure salad is evenly coated/

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

 

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