Lebanese Lentils

April 2, 2018
Created by Genevieve Daly, RDN, CD
40 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 1/4 cups dry lentils
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (mix of cilantro, green onion, and mint)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic toum (Lebanese garlic sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz fresh goat cheese, for garnish

Cook lentils like pasta, in simmering water or vegetable broth until tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, chop tomato, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Place into a large bowl with sesame seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together sumac, cumin, salt, lemon juice and garlic toum. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking to create an emulsion. Season with black pepper. Add lentils and dressing to bowl of vegetables. Toss to coat. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese.

Nutrition for ¼ of recipe: 350 Calories, 14g Total Fat (2.5g Saturated), 320mg Sodium, 44g Carbohydrates, 8g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugar (0 grams added), 18g Protein

Note: Sumac is a beautiful, red Middle Eastern herb that has a citrusy, lightly floral taste. It’s delicious in dry rubs, dressings, and is a component of the popular spice blend “Za’atar.”

Garlic toum is a strong garlic sauce very commonly used in Lebanese cooking. It can be made at home with just garlic, lemon, salt, and oil or purchased at Harmons in a jar made by local to Salt Lake company Laziz. It’s a great way to add garlic flavor to food without having to chop it fresh every time!

Instead of lentils, use an equal amount of quinoa or pearl couscous to make a grain side. The herbs can also be modified. Parsley or basil would also be delicious in this. And if you don’t enjoy goat cheese, feta (or no cheese at all) would be equally lovely.