This was such a charming salad. I did not grow up eating beans, and didn't start having them until my 20s. Unfortunately, my several first encounters with lentils were unpleasant -- thick, glommy lentil soups, lentils boiled to the state of mush. I had no idea how delightful -- and healthy -- lentils could be! Try this salad - easy to prepare, and good for a side salad to your packed lunch throughout the week.
Warm Lentil Salad with Walnuts, Green Beans, and Red Onion
1/4 c oilive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 tsp red wine veingar
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 2" lengths (2 c)
1 1/2 c lentils
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
1/4 c parsley, chopped
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a screw-top jar and shake. Set aside.
Heat the teaspoon of oil in a medium skillet. Add red onion and saute 2 minutes. To set the color, sprinkle the vinegar over the onions and toss well. Saute about 5 more minutes, or until they just become tender, yet are still crunchy. Remove from heat.
Bring 6 c water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Drop in the green beans. After water has returned to a boil, cook beans 5 minutes, or until tender yet still bright green. Remove beans with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour on about 1 T dressing and toss.
Keep water in the saucepan boiling. Drop the lentils into the boiling water. After the water returns to a boil, cook lentils, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
The lentils are done when they are tender, but still a tad crunchy - don't let them get mushy.
Drain lentils in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl. Pour on the dressing and toss well. Add walnuts.
When the lentils no longer hot, but still warm, stir in the green beans, red onions, and parsley. Serve as is, or on lettuce leaves.
Serve warm as part of this delicious dinner!