Greek Week: 7 Days of Mediterranean Recipes

I had thought  it was a well-established fact that the Mediterranean Diet was the gold standard. When the recent, and this time definitive, study confirmed that the Mediterranean diet really, really was the way to go, I was thrilled for the affirmation that I’ve been doing something right. I like to think of food as the solution, not the problem, and suddenly we had PhD’s analyzing data and telling us that olive oil, humus, garlic, parsley, almonds and feta cheese were like the fountain of youth. Awesome.

So now that the soup and stew season is officially over, I started this week thinking about summer salads, summer vegetables and some tasty ideas for the long, hot months ahead. That prompted what I’m calling Greek Week, and the posting of 7+ new recipes that fit comfortably within the realm of the Mediterranean Diet. Leading the list is a lentil salad. While I love lentil soup, I might love cold, peppery lentils even more as the basis for a lemony/garlicky salad, along with brown rice or quinoa, and a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs. We had this dish tonight as a main course, actually our only course, and it could be a highly popular side dish or salad at a summer table or event.

Lentil Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2  cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  • Add 1 cup of brown rice to 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and continue cooking  until liquid is absorbed. (About 30 minutes).
  • Combine 1 cup of uncooked lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and continue cooking until liquid is absorbed. (About 20 minutes).
  • In a large bowl, combine chopped carrots, celery, green onions, parsley and Kalamata olives.
  • To make dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Set aside.
  • Add cooked lentils and rice to the vegetables. Toss with dressing.
  • Top with slivered almonds prior to serving.