What to eat when the weather is hot, hot, hot? You know you need to eat but you just don’t know what you feel like. Nothing too stodgy, that’s for certain. That’s what we’ve been feeling like recently, now that it’s the height of the Fethiye summer. Here’s where dishes like this green lentil salad recipe really come into their own.
We’re always on the lookout for new dishes to try so that we can add them to our ever-growing portfolio of meze & salad recipes and keep ourselves interested in eating tasty foods when the heat of the day is doing its best to persuade us otherwise.
Easy Turkish Green Lentil Salad Recipe
At the moment, we’re both back in training for one of the many runs in Turkey. And trying to eat more healthily to lose a few pounds in the process, too.
Turkey Makes A Salad Great
Salads are great for that – and they’re perfect for the hot weather, too, of course. And Turkish salads are even better because they’re so varied.
They pull you away from that habit of just throwing a bit of lettuce, tomato and onion into a bowl and becoming bored to tears with the same old, same old. Think piyaz (white bean salad), think kısır (bulgur wheat salad), for example.
So tasty and different. And what about doing something with those green lentils you’ve had sitting in the cupboard since you can’t remember when?
Green Lentil Ideas
We usually use our green lentils for making green lentil soup but it just feels far too hot for that at the moment. So what else do the people of Turkey do with their green lentils?
Well, if they’re not cooked for too long, they’re more robust than red lentils and they make a great base for a light and refreshing (but also filling) salad.
Are you vegan and looking for some inspiration in the kitchen? Good news – this Turkish green lentil salad recipe can be added to your list of easy and healthy vegan recipes.
Why Green Lentil Salad?
This green lentil salad recipe (or yeşil mercimek piyazı) is the new favourite in our house and we can’t get enough of it! Here are a few reasons why, for you…
- It’s packed with all the simple salad ingredients we usually have in the fridge; especially at the height of summer – onions, spring onions, tomatoes, lemons and parsley.
- This green lentil salad recipe only requires a simple salad dressing of olive oil, vinegar and lemon – although, you’ll see in the recipe that we add a bit more tang.
- It’s a salad – we can play around with ingredients and their quantities. If we want more tomato, we can add more tomato into the green lentil salad recipe – our choice.
- Little added extras are always on the cards for us – pickled chillies make an appearance in our green lentil salad recipe but they are, of course, optional. Apart from the extra heat, it’s also a bit more ‘pickly zing.’
- It doesn’t require too much forethought or effort to make. Perfect – it’s summer and we’re too hot to think and work in the kitchen.
- And the best part is, even with so little effort or forethought, the final reward is joyous. Yeah, we love this salad!
Right, Here’s Our Green Lentil Salad Recipe
Turkish Green Lentil Salad Recipe
For The Salad
- 1 cup green lentils around 200g
- 1 large tomato or two medium ones, deseeded & diced
- 1 bunch spring onions trimmed, cleaned & finely chopped
- 1 red onion quartered & cut into thin slices
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled & grated
- 2 red pickled chillies finely chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
For The Salad Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil good quality
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons
- ½ teaspoon sour pomegranate sauce optional
- salt & pepper to taste
For The Salad
- Soak your green lentils in water for a couple of hours until they start to soften and swell.
- Drain your lentils.
- Bring 3 cupfuls of water to the boil and add your lentils.
- Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes - check them occasionally as you want to keep them whole. They will start to break up if they become too soft.
- Once cooked, drain them in a colander and pour cold water over them to cool them down and stop them cooking further.
- When they have cooled, add your lentils to a serving bowl.
- Now add the rest of your salad ingredients, except the tomatoes, and mix together gently.
- Scatter your chopped tomato over the top.
For The Salad Dressing
- In a small bowl, mix together all your dressing ingredients and do a taste test.
- Add more lemon or oil if necessary.
- Drizzle your dressing over the salad & gently mix everything together.
- Please note, nutritional values are only a rough guide and depend on how much of each ingredient you use.
- Prep time includes a couple of hours for soaking your lentils.
- Pickled chillies and nar ekşisi are both optional ingredients.
- If you are using fresh mint rather than dried, add around 4-5 leaves, finely chopped.
- For the vinegar in the salad dressing, you can use white wine vinegar but we like tangy flavours so we use the regular grape vinegar widely available in Turkey.
Green lentils might not be the prettiest foodstuff to look at but they do make a cracking salad! This green lentil salad recipe can make up part of your salad and meze table for summer barbecues.
You can eat it on its own with some lightly toasted bazlama or other crusty breads…or you can even just do what we do and skip the bread and eat it from a bowl as a light lunch.