Ikaria Lentil Salad with Fennel, Onions and Lots of Herbs
Lentils have it all: They are one of the world's healthiest foods and also one its most versatile, pairing beautifully with so many dfferent vegetables, herbs and spices. They are a great source of fiber, protein, and a whole range of minerals, especially phosphate, copper and iron. On Ikaria they were and still are a staple food, richly woven into the longevity diet of these islanders. This salad may be served warm or at room temperature. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 2 cups baby lentils rinsed and drained
- 1 fennel bulb trimmed and chopped or sliced thin
- 1 large red onion halved and sliced thin
- ½ cup wild fennel fronds or snipped dill
- ½ cup chopped Chinese parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
- 10 Kalamata wrinkled black olives, Greek throumbes or Moroccan olives
- ½ cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
Place the lentils in a pot with enough cold water to cover by 3 inches / 7 ½ cm. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender but al dente, about 25 to 35 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Transfer the lentils to a serving bowl and add the fennel, onion, fennel fronds or dill, parsley, mint, oregano and olives.
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Pour into the salad, toss well and serve.
Adapted from Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life & Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die (Rodale)