I realized last October that I have a bevy of Libra friends.From late September until late October, it is a birthday bonanza and I only celebrate about half of them. I mean really...as hard as I try, I can only fit so many parties into one month. This year, I decided to honor a whole group of my Libra friends with a Libra Luncheon. I narrowed it down to only women, and only those who live near me. And we still had lots of lovely Libra's in attendance. What is it with me and Libra's? I just love them!
I organized a beach walk party followed by a buffet lunch of salads. Since I have a few vegetarian friends, my first thought when planning was a lentil salad that can be made the night before and served room temperature. I got the idea for combining a spicy sauce with lentils from a dish that my friend Maili made for me a few years ago called Lentils with Tofu and Chimichurri Sauce. I love the spice and parsley with the heartiness of the black lentils. I made it a few times after Maili gave me the recipe and everyone loved it. And then I got lazy. And I threw together some similar things to create my lazy-girl lentil salad.
It's definitely not the same so be sure to try Maili's lentils too because they are truly delicious and honestly also super easy to prepare. But the Libra gals seemed pretty happy with their lentil salad and I promised them the recipe so here goes. This is what I did for the Libra Luncheon.
Please take note that this is a very forgiving dish. You can add more or less of most things. You can leave some things out. (I've made it with just onions, lentils, hot sauce and dry parsley.) You can throw in other things you like. (I've added shrimp.) It is really hard to screw it up. And if you ask me to bring it to your next party, it will likely be different. It is the kind of recipe I love.
“Celebrate true friends. They are a part of you that always sparkles.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree
Libra Lentil Salad
2 T Olive OIl 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion 1 tsp salt 1 package Trader Joe's steamed black lentils (or 2-3 cups cooked lentils) 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 1/4 cup dry parsley if you are really desperate) 1 cup fresh arrugula or spinach, optional 3-5 T Frank's original hot sauce or similar red hot sauce 2 tsp lemon juice, optional 1 tsp agave nectar, optional fresh feta cheese to serve
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, lentils and parsley and combine well. If using packaged lentils, be sure to break up all the clumps to separate the lentils. Stir in arrugula and add 3 T hot sauce. Taste and add more hot sauce if desired. Stir in lemon juice and agave. Cool, stir well and refrigerate overnight. I like to serve it warm or at room temperature with crumbled feta on top.