About the recipe
Today’s recipe is a lentil and rice salad, with a dressing inspired by Middle Eastern flavours. It’s a quick and simple salad that you can make using with many shortcuts by using leftover rice or any other grain. It’s also the type of dish that gets better with time, so add it to your meal prep rotation, and have it as a side a few days during the week! The dressing uses zaatar, a spice and herb blend with sesame seeds, and sumac, which is a rich and tart spice, making this salad very fresh and bright.Jump to Recipe
This salad uses staple ingredients, that you simply mix in a yummy and tangy Middle Eastern-inspired dressing. That’s where you can make discoveries!
- Zaatar is a spice blend made of savoury dried herbs like oregano, marjoram, thyme that gives it a floral flavour, spices like cumin, coriander that give it a woodsy flavour and sesame seeds that gives it a nutty and rich flavour. It also contains sumac for some tang.
- Sumac adds a nice acid flavours to this salad. We already have lemon juice doing it, but this is a way to add some more without adding more liquids.
This salad hits all the right spots when it comes to flavours but also with its’ nutrients. Veggies, carbs from the rice and lentils for some protein make this salad perfectly balanced.
Did you know that March is Nutrition Month? This year’s theme is Good for you! Dietitians help you find your healthy. As a Registered Dietitian, I am here to help you find solutions that are tailored to you. This applies to the recipes I share with you as well! Here are some substitution ideas to make this recipe your own:
- Use chickpeas, kidney beans or a blend of beans instead of lentils
- Replace the rice with couscous, quinoa or bulgur. Use whatever you have leftover in your fridge!
- Don’t have dates? Use another dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, apricot, figs.
- Swap the red onion for a yellow onion, a spring onion or a shallot
- Replace zaatar and sumac with dried oregano or any other herbs you have on hand
However, if you have access to all the ingredients, I encourage you to use them for this recipe, as it is delicious as it is! Oh! And a quick tip before I go: buy small amounts of spices or ingredients you wish to try from bulk stores. It will save you so much money and space in your cupboard, but will still allow you to try them out.
How to store
This is the type of salad that just gets better as it is stored in the fridge. You can keep it for up to 4 days, maybe even more if you ditch the cucumbers.
Middle Eastern lentil and rice salad
For the salad
- 1 cup rice cooked
- ½ can lentils rinsed and drained
- ½ red onion finely diced
- ½ carrot spiralled or grated
- 1 cucumber sliced or cubed
- ½ cup cilantro finely chopped
- ¼ cup dates chopped
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp zaatar
- 1 tsp sumac
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the salad together.
- In a jar, put all the ingredients for the dressing. Close tighly with a lid and shake. Add as much as you want to the salad.