Greek Lentil Salad
16 oz. red or brown lentils, picked and rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), roasted and julienned
12 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half or 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and juiced and diced
1 red onion, chopped
a large handful fresh parsley, chopped
a large handful fresh mint, chopped
16 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the dressing
6 fl.oz. extra virgin olive oil
4 fl.oz. red wine vinegar
2 fl.oz. lemon juice
2 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sweet paprika
Begin by cooking the lentils. Rinse them well in a colander under running water. Drain and place in a large pot. Cover with cold water. Season with salt and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue to simmer about 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked al dente. Do not overcook.
While the lentils are cooking prepare all the vegetables. Roast the bell peppers until they are black on the outside. Remove the most of the charred skin under running water. You can roast them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or over the burner if you have a gas stove.
Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a large mason jar. Place a lid on the jar and shake well to emulsify the dressing.
When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a colander and place under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once the lentils are cooled place them in a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the onion, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and roasted peppers. Toss to blend. Add the herbs and toss once more before serving.