This is the best lentil salad I’ve ever had because it covers the whole flavor range: the sweet potatoes and bell pepper provide sweetness, the feta cheese provides a tangy saltiness, the lentils are earthy and provide a textured bite, the arugula is slightly spicy, and the acidic brightness in the lemon juice-based dressing contrasts really well against all of it. Bonuses: this is really as healthy, budget-friendly, tastes great warm or cold, and stands up really well as leftovers.
Warm lemony lentil salad with feta, sweet potatoes, and arugula
1 and 1/4 cup brown lentils
a good 3 handfuls of fresh arugala (or any other green mix you’d like; just avoid spinach as it has the same earthy taste as the lentils. You need the slight kick that arugula or tat soi has.)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
2 sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
Peel your sweet potatoes, and cut into cubes. On a foil lined tray, toss the cubed potatoes with a olive oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper until all the cubes are well coated. Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender and brown in spots – around 30 minutes, but keep an eye on them around 20, and stir occasionally.
While your potatoes are roasting, cook your brown lentils. Put them in a pot, and season with salt. Throw in a bay leaf if you have one. Cover with enough water so that the water comes up about 1/2 to 1 inch above the lentils. Turn the stove on high until the water starts to boil, then lower the temperature to a simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes, but keep an eye on them. It’s important the lentils don’t become mushy – they should be tender but not overly soft. Drain of any remaining water.
Put your greens in your serving bowl. Top with the warm lentils and warm roast sweet potatoes. Add as much crumbled feta as you’d like – I used around 1/4 of a block. Add in your bell pepper.
Make your dressing. Juice 3 lemons into a bowl. Whisk in 1 TB of smooth mustard. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (or minced fresh garlic). Whisk in a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
Pour all the dressing over the salad. Eat warm, room temperature, or cold the next day. Serves 4.