You can substitute 1 1/4 teaspoons ground fennel seeds if fennel pollen is unavailable.
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 green bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 1/8 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (about 3/4 pound)
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel pollen
How to Make It
Preheat grill to high heat.
Lightly coat bell pepper pieces with cooking spray. Place bell pepper pieces, skin side down, on grill rack; grill 12 minutes or until skins are blackened. Place bell pepper pieces in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel and chop bell peppers. Discard skins. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
Rinse and drain lentils; place in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 3 inches above lentils; add onion and bay leaf to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Drain lentils. Discard onion halves and bay leaf. Add lentils to bell peppers. Add remaining 5/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tomato, and remaining ingredients to lentil mixture; stir well.
I've been meaning to make this for years, just sitting in my folder of recipes to make. Glad I did. Really nice salad. I broiled the pepper instead of grilling. I also made ahead and served it cold. My lentils got a bit mushy, but I can't ever cook them right :) Still had good flavors and my kids ate it up too.
I didn't have all the ingredients, so I did what another reviewer did and substituted cumin fof the fennel pollen. I also had quinoa instead of lentils. This is delicious- I think you can't mess up grilled veggies and grains!
Great side dish for whatever comes off the bbq this summer. Living in France and impressed the locals with a new treatment of lentils. Ground fennel seeds in a spice grinder but otherwise followed recipe.
I made this for a vegetarian friend of mine who absolutely loved it. My first time roasting my own peppers and should have blackened them a little more. I paired it with warm peel & eat shrimp. Very nice.. . but fennel pollen???? I used a very little cumin as a substitute and thought it worked well.
Made this last night with a friend - sooo tasty!! We kept the skins on the peppers, left the onion in the lentils instead of discarding, and used fennell seeds (too hard to crush so just as they came). Also excluded the olives d/t personal preference. Every bite offered something new and exciting b/w the fennel, lime, peppers and cilantro! Already suggested to co-workers.
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