Lentil and Herb Salad With Roasted Peppers and Feta

Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman and Deborah Madison

This recipe can be enjoyed warm, room temperature, or chilled. It's especially good with a little mint added.


1.5 cups green, brown or black lentils, rinsed and picked over
4.5 cups water
1 small or 1/2 large onion, finely diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons broth from the lentils
2 roasted peppers (preferably red, yellow, or orange, not green) peeled, seeded sliced in 2-inch long julienne - or equivalent of smaller peppers
3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, cilantro, chives, dill, oregano, basil, thyme (any combination)
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
3 ounces feta, crumbled


In a medium size pot, combine lentils, water, onion, bay leaf and one or two garlic cloves. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to taste, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked through but still have some texture. They should be tender and just a little firm, not mushy. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together vinegar or lemon juice, remaining garlic clove, salt to taste, and olive oil. Set aside.
Place a strainer over a bowl and carefully drain lentils. Transfer lentils to a bowl. Measure out two tablespoons of the broth and whisk it into the dressing, then toss dressing with the lentils. Stir in roasted pepper strips and allow to cool, if desired. Taste and adjust salt. Shortly before serving stir in fresh herbs, peppers, and feta.