Our friends Hap Erstein and Elaine Oksner host an annual 4th of July celebration at their home, which is conveniently located near a park that provides a pretty amazing fireworks display.
We happily participate in the festivities whenever we’re in town. Each guest brings a dish to add to our hosts' impressive repertoire of party fare.
Hap suggested we bring a recipe we would post on our website..... well, naturally!
This is what I made:
Lentil Salad with Feta and Tomatoes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 cups dried lentils
juice of 1 ½ lemons (or about 1/4 cup)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of Aleppo red pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
½ cup reduced-fat Feta cheese, crumbled or diced
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1. Place dried lentils in a 6 quart pot. Cover with water to about 2 inches above the lentils. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy. Rinse lentils with cold water in a colander; drain well and set aside.
2. For the dressing: whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the lentils, onion, Feta cheese, and tomatoes to the dressing, tossing gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Adjust seasonings, if necessary before serving.
5. Serve on a bed of salad greens with tomato wedges and toasted pita triangles, if desired.
NOTE: Making this salad ahead of time will allow the dressing flavors to intensify.