Here we have a recipe originally developed by my brother's former girlfriend Elizabeth (not to be confused with my own current girlfriend Elizabeth), who ascribes the idea to a sudden, bizarre craving that she decided to follow up on. I love it because... uh, because it tastes good. Also because the ingredients seem like a strange combination until you either think about it really hard, or simply taste the salad.

Like many cold legume dishes, this is excellent for all your summer potlucking needs. As good as it is, I've always had enough leftovers to make at least another meal of it (this is as much by design as overenthusiasm), so a massive batch could concievably last through that occasional five-event all-weekend potluck crawl.

  • 2 cups dry green lentils
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill weed, minced (or 3 teaspoons dried )
  • Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (or fresh tomatoes), chopped, in a quantity to suit your taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (use the oil from the tomatoes if you used sun-dried)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Grated carrots, sliced black olives and chopped toasted almonds, in quantities to suit your taste.

Cook the lentils in about 4 cups of water until they are soft but not mushy, then drain them and rinse under cold running water to cool them off. Add everything else, chill and serve.


  • If you're going to refrigerate the salad for an extended period before you serve it (longer than overnight, say), consider adding the almonds immediately before serving, to prevent them from losing texture.
  • The option of dried mint is left over from the original recipe as it was given me. I've only used fresh and I don't really expect that dry would cut it.
  • Be sure to try it with the fresh tomatoes. They're not a downgrade, they're an equal but very different substitution.

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