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Green lentil salad with delicious sumac dressing & Our memorable trip to the States

Green lentils salad with vegetables and sumac & pomegranate molasses dressing; wholesome and refreshing

Green lentils salad with vegetables and sumac & pomegranate molasses dressing; wholesome and refreshing

Refreshing salads are the choice of food for us, especially during the hot summer days. We have been revisiting this lovely green lentils salad often recently; healthy green lentils make the salad wholesome and filling. They also pair with the vegetables so well. Dried lentils are a year-round staple in our kitchen, essential for delicious salads like this during hot weather and hearty soups, like this Spicy red lentils soup, Ezo Gelin Corba,  in the winter months.

I also added the aromatic fennel to this salad; its crunchy texture and mild anise flavor worked well in the salad. If you are not a big fan of fennel, simply omit it.

Tangy sumac adds a lemony, refreshing taste to salads.

Tangy sumac adds a lemony, refreshing taste to salads.

The star of the salad has been the delicious sumac; this tangy, lemony spice is often used in Mediterranean, Turkish and Middle Eastern cooking. Try this Piyaz salad with sumac, tomatoes and red onion slices with grilled vegetables and meat, utterly delicious. You can find sumac and pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern or specialty stores (Whole Foods Market and Central Market carry sumac in the US). Turkish online supermarket Tulumba.com also have them  and I could find sumac in major supermarkets like Waitrose and Sainsburys in the UK.

I hope you enjoy this delicious, substantial salad. We had it with soft boiled eggs and pitta (or flat bread, pide bread) aside, it made a complete meal for us. Olives would also work well in this salad too. You can also serve this salad as an appetizer or with grilled meat, fish and vegetables.

Serves 2 -4

265 gr cooked green lentils, liquid drained and rinsed

2 spring (green onion), finely sliced

50gr baby spinach leaves

½ red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

A handful (about 100 gr) radishes, coarsely chopped

1 small fennel, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced – optional

2 eggs

For the dressing:

15ml/1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp. ground sumac

½ tbsp. pomegranate molasses or 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar – optional, for a sharper taste-

1 tsp. Turkish red pepper paste – optional

Salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the lentils in three times more water than the pulse for about 35 – 45 minutes. Drain the hot water and set the cooked lentils aside. If you are using pre-cooked lentils in can, drain its juice and rinse well.

Combine the red onions with the Turkish hot red pepper paste, Biber Salcasi, if you are using  and extra virgin olive oil and knead well with your hands; this will soften the onions and help the paste blend in well. Stir in the rest of the vegetables and the lentils.

Stir in the sumac to the salad mixture and combine well.

Stir in the sumac to the salad mixture and combine well.

Add the sumac and, pomegranate molasses or the balsamic vinegar (optional; if you enjoy a sharper taste like I do) to the mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper.

For soft boiled eggs; bring a pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Once boiling carefully set the eggs in the water. Cover and turn the heat to low. Set your timer for five minutes (six if you like thicker yolks). Gently remove the eggs from the water when the timer goes off. Immediately run them under cold water and peel carefully.  I like to cut them in half and serve with the lentil salad.

Delicious and wholesome green lentils salad with sumac dressing.

Delicious and wholesome green lentils salad with sumac dressing.

Afiyet olsun,

Ozlem

Our Memorable Trip to the States

A delicious and a very warm welcome with Turkish breakfast :)

A delicious and a very warm welcome with Turkish breakfast :)

We have been travelling in the US during the last few weeks; it was wonderful to see our old hang outs and dear friends. First stop was Houston; our dear friends Hande & Lenny welcomed us with this delicious Turkish breakfast, infused with wonderful Texas style egg & cheese burritos. With glasses of  Turkish cay and in great company of friends, it was special reunion!

It was wonderful to return to Central Market Cooking School and teach my Turkish cookery class with them; here we're about  to prepare the eggplants with dear Cindy

It was wonderful to return to Central Market Cooking School and teach my Turkish cookery class with them; here we’re about to prepare the eggplants with dear Cindy

 We lived in Austin, Texas for about 6 years; a special place for us that we can call a 2nd home. I was delighted to return to the Central Market Cooking School and have a chance to teach my Turkish cookery class at this wonderful school. Folks from my previous classes, friends, dear participants of  my Culinary tours to Turkey, new Turkish food lovers all gathered and graciously shared their love of Turkish food and Turkey. It was a day to remember and I was grateful to their company and generosity in appreciation.

While in Texas, one needs to make the most of the barbecue Texas-style, and we had more than our fair share!

Here I am working on the great big BBQ sauce at Rudy's, loved every bit of it : )

Here I am working on the great big BBQ sauce at Rudy’s, loved every bit of it : )

Here is another special photo, with my dear friend Peri. Peri is the owner of the fabulously delicious Indian food blog, Peri’s Spice Ladle; our friendship goes a long way, since the days we both lived in Austin. I was so glad to be able to see this dear friend, as Peri & family had literally just arrived from their trip from India. In spite of their jet lag, they very kindly drove to come & see us before we departed, it was special reunion! As Peri said “what matters at the end is the hugs and the memories of a good time, not the travel and fatigue and the jet lag! “, I so agree.

Seeing dear friends like Peri, from Peri's Spice Ladle was a very special highlight.

Seeing dear friends like Peri, from Peri’s Spice Ladle was a very special highlight.

Austin, Texas has a lot of special things worth mentioning; being the capital of Texas, its live music scene (the city hosts brilliant music festivals like South by Southwest), home town of  UT and many more. Austin is also the place to find the country’s biggest urban softball bat community; a lot more than 750,000 Mexican Free-Tail bats make their house underneath the beams from the Congress Avenue bridge. We took a Town Lake river cruise in Austin and watched the bats taking off under the Congress Avenue Bridge; “thousands of them!”, as my 9 year old son said with amazement!

Watching thousands of bats taking off at Town Lake, Austin - Texas; a sight to see.

Watching thousands of bats taking off at Town Lake, Austin – Texas; a sight to see.

 We then headed to Park City, Utah. Park City is a scenic mountain community and its crisp clean air, from biking to hiking all things outdoors, the gorgeous mountain scene have been very welcome, relaxing and enjoyable.

Beautiful mountain scene and all things outdoors; we really enjoyed Park City.

Beautiful mountain scene and all things outdoors; we really enjoyed Park City.

We made this delicious Spinach and Cheese fillo pastry, Ispanakli Peynirli Borek with Aunt Jayne while we were in Park City; it was delicious! It’s such an easy, tasty treat and left overs freeze beautifully.

IMG_1486

Spinach and cheese pastry, Ispanakli, Peynirli Borek; delicious and easy to make.

As always, it’s been the people that have made a place special. I hope you have enjoyed the photos, as much as we enjoyed the trip.

Precious time spent with dear friends; and I loved these sunflowers : )

Precious time spent with dear friends; and I loved these sunflowers : )

My best wishes to you all. Now back at home, I look forward to sharing more new recipes here with you!

Ozlem

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18 Responses to Green lentil salad with delicious sumac dressing & Our memorable trip to the States

  1. jaz August 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    it looks like you had a wonderful trip. the food looks so yummy and now i have some new recipes to try. i used to spend lots of time in austin…it’s a great town!

    • Ozlem Warren August 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Cheers Jaz, Austin is really a cool town. Glad you enjoyed the post; the lentil salad is a favorite for us at the moment, very easy to make, wholesome and delicious, hope you enjoy it :)
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Ozlem

  2. Phil in the Kitchen August 20, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Wow, that’s a superb trip. I’m very, very envious. Lovely salad too. In the last few years I’ve definitely come to love fennel more and more. Although we’re currently eating salads most days, I never really think of lentils in a salad. That’s clearly a mistake that I should put right.

    • Ozlem Warren August 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Cheers Phil; I am also getting more into fennel, it is actually a very versatile vegetable. Lovely when roasted, and so tasty when sliced thinly into the salads. Give lentils a go in the salads; they are not only very healthy, but so delicious and wholesome. Good to hear from you : )

  3. Peri August 21, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    My dear Ozlem, firstly this salad is wholesome, it’s just super perfect for the crazy summer days we’re having right now!

    And on your recent trip to our neck of the woods, I can’t express how exciting it was to see you all! There was not an ounce of jetlag once we hugged and started chatting! What a thrill…such memories, thanks for making me a part of your post and your kind words:) many hugs xxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren August 21, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Same here dear friend, so glad we got together!! It’s a pleasure having you here, love your posts, love your food : )
      Ozlem xx

  4. Alan August 21, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    . . what a delightful post about what was obviously a delightful trip.

    • Ozlem Warren August 21, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks Alan, it really was a memorable trip, glad you enjoyed the post :)

  5. Jo August 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    This looks delicious Ozlem. So pleased I have some sumac in my cupboard, I can give this one a try! :-)

    • Ozlem Warren August 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Fabulous, Jo :) I hope you enjoy it!

  6. April Ozbilgin August 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Your salad looks so appetizing as usual and the photos of your trip are awesome. Looks like you had a lovely time.

    • Ozlem Warren August 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Cok tesekkurler April, it was wonderful to be back to the States, glad you enjoyed the salad. Cok selamlar, Ozlem

  7. senior dogs abroad August 22, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Özlem, Thanks for the recipe. I love lentils and will surely try it. The photos of your trip were so warm and lovely. So glad it was such a big success. I’ve tried one of the recipes you posted (sauteed carrots – got rave reviews) but not the kebap yet.

    • Ozlem Warren August 22, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      Merhaba Jolee, thank you for your kind note, I do love lentils too and nice to be able to enjoy them in salads, especially during hot summer days – hope you like it. The sauteed carrots in garlic yoghurt is one of my favorite mezzes too, glad you all enjoyed it : ) Cok selamlar, Ozlem

  8. Claudia August 26, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Oh Özlem. What a fabulous post. First of all, I loved your salad – your photography seems to have reached new heights!! Excellent pics. And then your trip to Austin: yr friendship with Peri seems pretty special and what a nice photo of the two of you! How lovely the whole thing must have been for you! xxx

    • Ozlem Warren August 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Merhaba Claudia, thank you so much; this lentil salad has become a favorite with us too, thank you for the kind words – love taking these pictures : ) Austin was a special trip, and yes, seeing dear Peri was a huge highlight :)! many thanks for your very kind note :) xx Ozlem

  9. Kumar's Kitchen August 27, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    salad looks so colorful,rich in fiber and is scrumptious with the pomegranate molasses,delicious :-)

    • Ozlem Warren August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Many thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the post!

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