This delicious Mujadara Salad has cooked lentils with caramelized onions mixed with rice and greens. This beautifully rich and flavorful Lebanese dish is packed full of the tastes that bring balance to the summer heat. The sweetness of the rice and onions, brought together with the astringency and slight bitterness of the lentils and greens, makes a winning combination to cool the heat of pitta inside and out.
What’s in it:
- 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils (not Puy lentils)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup basmati rice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
- 2 cups sweet cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
- Salt to taste
- tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
- Pinch of salt and pepper
How to make it:
Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and black pepper and cook until the seeds start to darken. Lower the heat to medium, throw in the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for about 10-15 minutes until they begin to caramelize and turn slightly crispy, stirring often.
Remove about half the onions from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Add the rice, ground cumin, paprika, and cinnamon stick to the pan and saute them for a minute or two. Add the lentils, two cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the water is evaporated and the rice is tender.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice to steam for another few minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. While that’s happening, make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a jar or bowl and whisking (or shaking) until well combined.
To assemble the salads, place a serving (approx 1 cup) of the rice and lentils mixture in a shallow serving bowl. Top with the shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and some of the leftover onions. Drizzle with salad dressing.