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Monday, November 29, 2010

Lentil & Chick Pea Salad with Dried Cherries and Creamy Lemon Yogurt Dressing

I pride myself in a well stocked pantry. I could say it's because I like to be prepared for a natural disaster, but in fact, it's because I like to be prepared for whatever culinary adventure strikes me at any given moment.

Of course, there's the dried stuff.... the pasta, rice noodles, egg noodles, rice, couscous, cornmeal, oatmeal, bulgar, lentils, chickpeas, and other beans and pulses. Oh, and don't forget the flours and sugars. Then there is the canned stuff... the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk.  Then, the essential sauces and oils. I mean, I like to make most things myself, so I am not referring to add and toss pasta sauce or meat sauces, I am talking about seasoning sauces like worchesterchire, tobasco, soy sauce, hoisin, oyster sauce, sesame oil, truffle oil, vinegars, etc.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the spices!  That would take hours.

But then there are times when it is necessary to do a "pantry clearout." Those are the times when I feel up for a challenge, or when my husband and I finalize a move to a different country and we realize we have far too much stuff in our pantry. So, for some number of weeks, or months (yes, it can take me THAT long to clear all the stuff in my pantry), we survive on what we have, plus the essential fresh stuff that we allow ourselves to buy.

And let me tell you... dishes can get mighty creative! So, here is one of them. A salad made from beans, dried fruit, and other stuff.

Oh, and as a note, I used dried lentils and chick peas rather than canned. I find that the texture of dried is far nuttier than canned and that each individual pulse stands up to being tossed in dressing and never gets that mushy texture. That is why I prefer to take the time and cook my own.

Lentil & Chick Pea Salad with Dried Cherries and Creamy Lemon Yogurt Dressing
Makes loads

2 cups Chick Peas, cooked
3 cups Lentils, cooked
3/4 cup Dried Cherries
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

For the Dressing
Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons
1/2 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper

In a jar or container with tight fitting lid, add add dressing ingredients. Place on lid and shake, shake, shake!!

Then, in a large bowl, toss together chick peas, lentils and dried cherries. (Everything can be done ahead up to this point).

When you are ready to serve, pour the dressing over the chick peas mixture and toss. Then stir in the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. This looks like a great salad. I have never cooked chickpeas before, so this will be a first. We BBQ year-round and I can't wait to try this as I think it will be a wonderful accompaniment.

  2. never tried yoghurt dressing with lentlis- sounds exotic! should give it a try- thnx for sharing :)