Simple to make with pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients, Lunch Box Tomato Basil Lentil Salad packs beautifully for lunch on-the-go, and also makes the perfect side or potluck dish.
1cupFrench or brown lentilspicked over and rinsed
1medium garlic cloveminced or finely grated
3tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
¼cuppacked basilthinly sliced
Place the lentils in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender by not falling apart. Start testing at 20 minutes to avoid overcooking. Drain well.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and salt. Stream in the olive oil, whisking until well combined.
Pour the warm, drained lentils into the bowl with the dressing, stirring to coat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the dressing to absorb.
Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Taste and add additional salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Use any chopped veggies you like to bulk up this salad. Chopped carrot and celery adds a nice crunch and scallion lends a lovely edge.Don't care for tomatoes? Leave them out in favor of a veggie of choice.If you don't have fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley makes a nice alternative.Add fresh mozzarella of feta to make this more of a Caprese-style lentil salad.My four-year-old would probably not go for this salad as is, but she will eat plain lentils with a little salt. I'll often pull a small amount of cooked lentils for her prior to adding the remaining ingredients and then serve those along with sliced tomatoes.