This inexpensive but satisfying dish is rich with the flavors of summer: dill, cucumber, tomato, mint. Refreshing and light but with excellent protein and satisfying taste, Dilled Rice and Lentils with Creamy Cucumber Salad has become one of our favorite summer main dishes.
Dilled Rice and Lentils
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green lentils
1 cup basmati rice
5 cups good-quality vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tamari or good-quality soy sauce
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried dill weed, or 2 tablespoons fresh
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and then add onion and garlic, sautéing about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
2. Add lentils, stirring to coat, then add broth. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add rice and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, adding water or broth if the mixture is too dry, until rice and lentils are cooked and the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Add tamari, vinegar, and dill, stirring to combine. Set aside.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
6 to 8 ounces plain yogurt
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 large cucumber, halved (seeds removed) and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced
1. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt and tahini until smooth. Add red onion and feta, then fold in the tomato and cucumber. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Garnish with mint leaves and serve atop or alongside the dilled rice and lentils.
Serves 4 to 6.