Black Bean and Lentil Salad

For the Salad:
  • 1 cup (about 1/2 pound) lentils (I used green French lentils but you can use ordinary brown lentils)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion (scallions) green part only
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
For the Dressing:
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T fresh lime juice (can use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic (I used garlic puree from a jar)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed (can use ground cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp. Ancho chile powder (or use any mild chile powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike seasoning (or more)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste (I used green Tabasco sauce)

Put lentils into a small sauce pan with plenty of water to cover, bring to a slow simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 40-60 minutes for green lentils or 30-40 minutes for brown ones. Drain lentils and let cool slightly.

While lentils cook, put beans in a colander and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let drain well, then blot dry with paper towels.

Put olive oil, chicken stock, Dijon mustard, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. In mortar and pestle, grind together oregano, cumin seed, chile powder, Spike seasoning, and pepper. Whisk into liquid in bowl, then add hot sauce to taste and whisk again.

When lentils are slightly cooled, combine with half of dressing and let marinate while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Wash, spin dry, and finely chop cilantro and set aside. Chop red bell pepper, red onion, and green part of green onions finely and add to lentils. Add drained beans to lentil and vegetable mixture, and stir in rest of dressing, then gently mix in chopped cilantro. This will taste best if refrigerated for an hour or so before serving, but it can be served sooner if you're short on time.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
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