Red Lentil Salad with Dried Fruit & Toasted Pine Nuts

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine Holiday Issue 1996

Quick-cooking red lentils and bulgur team up to make this hearty fiber-rich salad. Tart lemon juice plays against the sweet flavors of dried fruits, mint and cinnamon for a distinctive Middle Eastern flair; serve alongside grilled lamb or chicken.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, (see Note), rinsed and picked over
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

Preparation

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  1. Bring water, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan; stir in bulgur, remove from the heat, cover the pan and set aside until the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine lentils and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, pressing firmly to remove excess water.
  3. Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  4. Add lentils, dates, apricots, parsley, mint, oil, lemon juice and zest, and half the pine nuts to the bulgur. Toss well. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on top.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Ingredient Note: Red lentils are a useful addition to your pantry because they cook in just 10 to 15 minutes. They are excellent in soups, salads and vegetarian stews. You can find them in the natural-foods section of your supermarket or through online sources.
  • Give grains a cooldown: To cool grains down quickly, spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet. The surface area helps speed cooling, while the foil prevents any residual flavors on the pan from seeping in.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 251 calories; 8 g fat(1 g sat); 6 g fiber; 40 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 739 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 44 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 206 mg sodium; 296 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fruit, 1 lean meat, 1 fat (mono)

Reviews 1

August 30, 2010
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By: celeryhead
This salad was AWESOME. There are a lot of ingredients to prepare, which seemed a little daunting if you like speedy meals, but it was well worth the effort. I wouldn't have imagined all the flavors could have blended so well. Even my husband, who doesn't like things that are 1. healthy, 2. contain the word bulgar, 3. dried fruit 4. lemon zest loved it and wants it for dinner tomorrow as well.