O and I love Puy lentils and often remark at how little we actually eat them at home. Usually, we'll enjoy them warm, in the classic French tradition, under a yielding leg of duck that's been confited and roasted. But really, these lentils are delicious at any temperature! This is the type of salad I'd, if left to my own devices, happily eat all day long. The garlicky dressing is divine and really does a great job uniting the individual ingredients. I'd say good quality feta in this dish is key, though.
I didn't have any arugula on hand, so I threw in some blanched cut green beans. I could see this going beautifully with a platter of roasted vegetables and as a side to juicy, grilled merguez sausage. Tastes better the longer it sits, so it's practically begging for a picnic - perfect for these winding down summer days!
Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
Adapted via Epicurious
1 cup lentilles du Puy (French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bunch arugula, stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry, and chopped
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.