This salad can be served on the side but can also stand on its own as a complete meal. It’s low-fat, vegan, and full of plant-based protein!
Hey, you… Yes, you!
Will you try some of my bulgur and lentil salad? It’s pretty amazing. I promise!
But you can see that for yourself, don’t you? Just look at those pearls of bulgur that have absorbed all the rich juices from the plump tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers! Their sweet and nutty taste is accentuated by the earthy flavors of lentils and cumin and balanced out by the fresh taste of parsley and the tanginess of lemon. Olive oil provides a fruity background which helps all the flavors to develop while the peppers and olives provide frequent bursts of deliciousness, just to keep things extra interesting! Yes, you will never lose interest for this salad 🙂
After posting my authentic Greek salad 2 ways, where I showed you the traditional way of serving it and another more “elegant” one, I can now say that I’ve published my two favorite salad recipes of all time. No, wait a minute; make that my three top favorite salads, since I can’t leave out this super delicious orange, mango, and lettuce salad.
I can’t tell you how many times I make this bulgur and lentil salad, especially during summer. Though I don’t really consider it a salad, but more like a healthy and complete meal, since it provides plenty of plant-based protein, a good amount of complex carbohydrates and some healthy monounsaturated fat (due to the olive oil). That’s why I usually make an extra large bowl on Sunday night and refrigerate it so that I can take it with me to work during the week and eat it for lunch.
As I said, this is an all-in-one salad. Surely you can serve it as a side salad, next to your favorite main course (maybe next to this pomegranate glazed leg of goat/lamb?) but why stop there? You can also have it for dinner with one or two soft boiled eggs, put it in a jar and take it to work for a healthy lunch, or even eat some spoonfuls in the afternoon as a snack. I know I have!
You want the lentils to be “al dente” meaning fully cooked but firm to the tooth and not mushy.
You also want the bulgur just slightly undercooked, because you want it to absorb all the juices from the vegetables while resting in your fridge.
This salad is best made the night before, so all the flavors have enough time to develop.
It keeps well in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for at least 3 days.
Sometimes I like to add a cup of cubed cheese.
- 1 cup brown lentils, uncooked
- 1 cup bulgur, uncooked
- 2-3 tomatoes, diced
- 2 medium persian cucumbers, diced
- 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
- 1 large sweet green pepper, diced
- 3-4 tablespoons sliced olives
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse lentils and transfer them to a pot. Fill with water, enough to cover them by 2-3 inches, and boil for 20-30 minutes or until cooked but not mushy. Drain well and set aside.
- In the meanwhile, transfer bulgur to a heatproof bowl, fill with 3 cups boiling water and let it sit for about 25 minutes.
- When bulgur is soft and tender drain it and transfer it to a large bowl.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, peppers, and olives to the bowl without mixing. You want the bulgur to stay to the bottom of the bowl in order to absorb the juices from the vegetables.
- Add cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Cover the vegetables with the lentils and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
- Before serving mix everything well, taste and adjust salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. If you’re not extremely happy with the taste it probably needs some more salt, olive oil, and lemon juice 🙂
Chop the vegetables while the bulgur and lentils are cooking to save time!
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