Warm Lentil Salad with Grapes, Feta, & Mint

So I guess we're getting toward springtime here in DC (at least theoretically -- if only it would quit snowing!), which is about the time I start craving quicker, lighter, fresh-tasting meals so I can enjoy more time outside in the sunshine. (Daylight saving time, you are my friend.) This one really hit the spot for me last night. It's so easy to throw together and has such a great combination of flavors and textures: chewy lentils, sweet grapes, crunchy pistachios, mustardy dressing, salty feta. This would be great served over a bed of baby spinach, or for my carnivorous friends out there, as a side dish with some marinated grilled chicken or pork chops.

Warm Lentil Salad with Grapes, Feta, and Mint
From Vegetarian Times
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (start with about 1 cup dry; simmer with water to cover for about 20 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender and translucent, stirring often. Remove from heat, and stir in sherry vinegar and mustard. Combine lentils, leek mixture, grapes, pistachios, mint, and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and top with crumbled feta.