salad days: mediterranean couscous and lentils

beautiful black beluga lentils

months ago the mimis were perusing the bulk items at fairway and came across lentils labeled "black beluga lentils." although they looked similar in shape and size as french green lentils, i wasn't sure what they would taste like. but with such a sexy name ... who in their right mind could refuse buying them?!

but then they languished on the pantry shelf, all pretty looking with nowhere to go. finally after a couple of days of takeout to compensate for a bare refrigerator, i was dying to make a home meal with whatever we had on hand. a little searching around epicurious and i found this wonderful, easy recipe.

lentils and couscous

mediterranean couscous and lentils: serves 6
from gourmet (sept 1995, via epicurious - click here)

1 cup lentilles du puy (french green lentils - or use black beluga lentils if you can find them!)
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 bunch arugula, chopped (we only had some wild greens, but with some bitter herbs and arugula included so we thought it might work – probably better with all arugula though)
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved (we used regular tomatoes, chopped)
1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)

1. in a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.

2. in a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.

3. in a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. stir lentils and dressing into couscous. chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24. (note: we only chilled it to a warm room temp, for about 1 hour and it was still delicious!)

4. just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

mediterranean couscous and lentils


  1. oh lentils... my favorite legume. love this!

  2. What a beautiful salad!

  3. Made it yesterday and I can't wait for the leftovers at lunch! I love lentils :)

  4. So beautiful! I just want to scoop my hands thru them in the first photo!

  5. thanks everyone! lentils are my favorite too. hope your lunch was tasty tartelette!

  6. yes, these are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. I thought you'd shown us a pic of caviar...and then..voila! They're lentils. Very sexy. Sexier (and cheaper) than caviar! LOL

  7. This looks so tasty-- a wonderful combination of flavors.