Are you poor or on a budget? This is a great lunch for you, then. This is one of those lunches that Will came up with based on what was in our cupboards, but it’s probably one of my favorites that we’ve had in a long time. But then again, I’m a total sucker for cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, and lentils, so that’s probably why I enjoy it so much. No matter how little money you may have, this is a recipe where if you don’t already have everything on hand, it won’t hurt to buy the few ingredients it takes to make this, and then just hold onto them for other recipes. Generally speaking, the majority of these ingredients are probably in your cupboards already (especially if you are a regular follower of this blog, I’d imagine you probably have a similarly stocked kitchen to us), which makes throwing it together easy. Probably the biggest pain is to remember to cook the quinoa and lentils, before you actually want to eat it. There have been several nights where this has been intended to be made and Will realizes it’s 11 PM and the quinoa and lentils haven’t been cooked! (This always results in sadfaces all around). So give this recipe a shot for a flavorful new way to have a grain lunch salad!
Zaatar Spice Salad (serves 6-8)
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup lentils
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1-2 tbsp sumac (to your liking)
1-2 tbsp sesames seeds (to your liking)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry cooking wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cashews
Cook 1 cup quinoa – solid instructions can be found here. Cook 1/2 cup green lentils, like so. Once you have cooked both your grains, mix them together in a large mixing bowl.
While your grains are cooking, lightly toast your cashews until they are a light brown color on the outside. Prepare your sundried tomatoes by chopping them into small pieces, in order to blend well. Once the cashews and tomatoes are done, mix them into the quinoa/lentil mixture.
To make the zaatar seasoning, begin by toasting your sesame seeds in a dry skillet. As they are reaching the end of their toasting, toss in the thyme leaves to enhance their flavor, no more than 1 minute. Remove from heat, then mix with the sumac and S&P to taste, in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the olive oil, sherry cooking wine and lemon juice, until well blended. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the quinoa/lentil mix, adding additional salt, sumac or lemon juice, to taste. For extra flavor, sprinkle some goat cheese or parsley on top and enjoy! Works well as a dinner, too.