I’m a huge fan of Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day” and her online recipe journal, 101cookbooks.com. I’ve bookmarked who knows how many of her healthy, delicious recipes. One of my favorites is her Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup recipe. It’s incredibly simple yet intensely flavorful.
But, frankly, it’s too freakin’ hot for soup.
In spite of the heat, Swiss chard is thriving in my vegetable garden. So I was inspired to transform the soup into a light summertime salad recipe. The main ingredients remain: quick-cooking lentils, Swiss chard, tomato. I added a dressing of minced scallion, lemon juice and olive oil. And while I love the soup’s topping of saffron-infused Greek yogurt, I opted for some crumbled Feta for a bit of salty, cheesy goodness.
This lentil salad recipe improves with resting time, which allows the flavors to build and blend. Pack this with some pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus for a tasty at-work lunch. A big bowl of this salad, accompanied by a hunk of whole-grain bread, would be a nice Meatless Monday supper.
Come fall, I’ll return to the original soup recipe. In the meantime, this is a delicious alternative.
lentil salad with chard and tomatoes recipe
(makes 4 lunchtime servings or sides)
3/4 cup uncooked French lentils, rinsed and picked over
6 large Swiss chard leaves, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
2–3 scallions, white and light green parts minced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
In a saucepan, combine lentils and plenty of water to cover; bring to a boil and cook until al dente, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer them to a large bowl; add the chard and toss with the warm lentils until it wilts a bit. Season with 1/4 tsp. salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, scallions and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add the dressing to the lentil-chard mixture and gently toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and another 1/4 tsp. salt, plus several good grinds of coarse black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add Feta before serving.