Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
A light summer salad – delicious on a hot day.
Adapted from Gourmet, September 1995.
1 cup lentilles du Puy* (small French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous (I usually use whole-wheat 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)
Place the lentils in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmering until they’re tender — about 15-20 minutes. Drain and transfer them to a bowl; stir in 1 tbsp vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Let them cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring 1 1/4 cup water to a boil in a separate saucepan and add the couscous and salt. Turn off the heat and let the couscous stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a large bowl; stir in 1 tbsp oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.
While the lentils and couscous are cooling, whisk together the garlic paste, remaining 2 tbsp vinegar, remaining 3 tbsp oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Once the lentils and couscous have cooled, add the lentils and dressing into the large bowl of couscous. The salad tastes best when you chill it a few hours before serving.
Just before serving, stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.