|Lentil Pasta Salad|
This Lentil Pasta Salad features small shell pasta to scoop up every flavorful ingredient in this super yummy salad. Diced tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers and olives are tossed in a lemony vinaigrette before being mixed with the pasta. This Mediterranean inspired pasta dish is the perfect light salad to bring to the picnic. It’s also a great side dish for grilled meats or fish. Everyone is sure to love this one. Or at least that’s what I thought when I wrote the recipe. The truth of the matter is that my daughter took one look at it and refused to even taste it. And so I dutifully made her something less nutritious to eat as I reminisced about how my parents would have handled the matter. I might have sounded something like “eat this or starve”. So maybe it’s not the most kid friendly dish depending on how adventurous your child’s tastes are. However, in defense of the delectable salad, everyone who did try it loved it. So what's your favorite dish to bring to the barbecue?
Lentil Pasta Salad
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
- 8 oz dried lentil beans
- 8 oz gluten free small shell pasta, cooked according to the package instructions
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 rib of celery, diced
- ¼ cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup green olives, quartered
- ½ cup black olives, quartered
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove of grated garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the dressing, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil. Once those ingredients are well combined slowly stream in the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is emulsified.
- Stir all of the diced veggies into the dressing to coat then set aside.
- Add the lentils with some salt and about 4 cups of water to a 2 quart saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until they’re tender.
- Drain the lentils put them into a large serving bowl to cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the marinated veggies while they’re still warm to absorb the flavors.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and this salad is ready to serve.
Notes: Be sure to check the ingredients list on the mustard to ensure there is no gluten containing ingredients. For an even easier salad feel free to substitute ½ cup of your favorite Italian vinaigrette for the dressing in the recipe but make sure it's gluten free.