Marinated Lentils and Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles Star in This Fresh, Flavor-Packed Salad
This story is part of Eat More Plants, Kitchn’s June 2021 special issue devoted to learning how to put the flavor and magic of plants at the heart of your plate.
If you think lentils are boring, you haven’t met this vibrant, flavor-packed salad. It’s a celebration of all things colorful and feel-good: Earthy mottled lentils, ruby red tomatoes, and crunchy green scallions and cucumbers are all dressed in a tangy Dijon vinaigrette. But the piece that really gives this dish its oomph? A healthy sprinkle of Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles, which lend the perfect amount of tangy bite and creamy texture to each and every forkful.
It’s a simple salad that lets you taste and enjoy its individual ingredients. The mix of crunchy, crisp veggies with the soft, cooked lentils and feta crumbles gives each bite that critical mix of textures that makes salads so enjoyable. Plus, the entire dish is 100-percent plant-based thanks to the dairy-free cheese. Bring it to a potluck and you’ll make sure there’s a satisfying entrée for those who eat only plants — and a tantalizingly tasty side for everyone else.
Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles are the first of their kind. Created in a solar-powered, vegan production facility, they’re preservative-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, soy-free, kosher certified, and non-GMO. Yet, they taste just like the real deal. Not only are the Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles delicious straight out of the container; they’re also great in both hot and cold dishes. Here, they lift a lentil salad from ho-hum to out of the ordinary, thanks to a burst of richness and flavor. Look for the Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles in the refrigerated section of your local healthy grocer.
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes
Serves4 to 6
- 1 cup
dried French green lentils
- 3 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
medium scallions (white and green parts)
Persian cucumbers, or 1/2 medium English cucumber
- 1 pint
cherry or grape tomatoes
(6-ounce) container Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles
Place 1 cup dried French green lentils in a fine-mesh strainer. Pick through the lentils, discarding any broken or discolored ones. Rinse under cool water until the water runs clear, about 1 minute.
Transfer the lentils to a small saucepan. Add 1 bay leaf and enough water to cover the lentils by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard together in a large bowl.
When the lentils are ready, drain and discard the bay leaf. Add the warm lentils to the dressing and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well to coat.
Let marinate and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice white and green parts of 3 medium scallions. Dice 2 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber. Halve 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, or quarter if large.
Add the scallions, cucumbers, and tomatoes to the lentils and toss to combine. Add 1 (6-ounce) container Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Feta Crumbles and gently toss to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Follow Your Heart® and Vegenaise® are registered trademarks of Earth Island®