Saturday, September 28, 2013

Russian-inspired Lentil Salad

I am a great fan of Russian ballet, so when "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music" opened at the National Gallery of Art in May I was eager to go and see the exhibition. For anyone interested in ballet, this exhibition is a must. Please see Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes for more information. 

In addition to the amazing exhibit featuring a large collection of costumes, film clips, set designs, photos, and much more, the Garden Cafe offered a buffet and a la carte menu inspired by the exhibition. One of the dishes from the buffet was a French Lentil Salad which I have adapted to my taste below:

1 cup Puy lentils (French lentils), washed and drained
vegetable broth or water
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 tbsp yellow onions, finely chopped and sautéed
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
4 tbsp champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
several tbsp each of fresh chives and dill, finely chopped
4 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

  • Cook the washed and drained lentils in vegetable broth or water for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and put into bowl. Let cool slightly.
  • Mix carrots, sautéed onions, red pepper, cherry tomatoes and add to lentils.
  • Prepare a dressing of 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil, 4 tbsp champagne vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper (the amount of oil and vinegar will depend on your taste). Add to lentils salad and mix carefully.
  • Sprinkle with crumbled feta and fresh herbs when ready to serve.

Serves 3-4

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