This zesty side is modeled after tabbouleh, the Middle Eastern salad of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. Here, we use couscous instead of bulgur and add black lentils for color and texture. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
1/2 cup dried black lentils
5 cups water, divided
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
How to Make It
Rinse lentils with cold water; drain. Place lentils and 4 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
Bring remaining 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Combine lentils, couscous, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
Served with Lamb Pitas for company and I thought (and my guests) it was good. Seams healthy and was a good side. I added lots more raisins to give it more sweetness. Didn't give it 5 stars only because it didn't "wow" me, just thought it was a good side choice.
I've made this a couple of times, and I don't fool around with the proportions much. I usually add a little extra lemon juice and if I don't have a cucumber, I add extra tomatoes. Chopped regular tomatoes are fine if you don't have cherry tomatoes. If I don't have fresh mint, I don't make it. To me, that is the dominant (and important) flavor in the dish. We had it a few days ago with Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage, also a 4-star dish. I also cut up some watermelon for dinner that night.
Received this recipe as cut out from my mother-in-law after she made it one day. So yummy! Sometimes we sub black beans for the lentils for a little less cooking. Also, sometimes add double the raisins for a little extra sweet and my toddlers love it! Added some fresh grated ginger one time too. Usually add a little less onion (again for the toddlers taste buds), maybe cut down to a 1/4 cup.
Great dish! Super healthy and tons of flavor. I made it with quinoa instead of couscous to make it even healthier and it was a success. I served it with grilled chicken but even alone it would be good as a light lunch or vegetarian option.
Wow! This dish is outstanding for sure in our opinions as a family. We loved it! And made it over and over again, everyone was eating it up so fast. Great as lunch with the protein in it. If you can't find the black lentils, use black beans, still awesome. We will continue to make this dish again and it's affordable!!!