I have another recipe that started as an instagram-only recipe but rightfully deserved a place on the site. Lentils are a staple in my kitchen and one ingredient that people always want more inspiration for (because you can only eat so much lentil soup!)
Zucchini and other alternatives
Obviously I realize zucchini season is coming to an end but if you’re like me, there’s still a bit of summer produce hanging on. These fritters work perfectly with raw zucchini. However, I think you could do a similar concept with shredded winter squash or root vegetables.
Really this dish comes together because of the spread- I’d highly recommend not skipping it. I usually turn to hummus for this job but really any kind of spread would work. Think romesco, pureed vegetables, or whipped feta or goat cheese.
Vegetable Salads, for topping
The final part of this bowl is the fresh topping. During summer this is easy: tomatoes, cucumber, loads of fresh herbs; it’s hard to go wrong. During the cooler months I like to do a salad with hearty greens or even a pile of roasted vegetables.
A note about vegan
I did not try this but I think you could totally turn this into an easy vegan meal. Use your favorite egg replacer (think flax-egg) then serve over a vegan spread and top with more fresh vegetables. It’s hard to go wrong!
Zucchini Lentil Fritters with Spread and Extra Veg
1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 pound zucchini, grated
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (or flours)
1 large egg
Oil, for frying
Spread, for serving (hummus, romesco, baba ganoush, or whipped feta)
Vegetable Salad, for serving (I used tomatoes tossed with olive oil, cilantro, and salt)
Combine lentils, garlic cloves, and broth in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are falling apart, about 25 minutes. Let cool then remove garlic clove.
Place zucchini in a sieve and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of salt. Let drain for about 10 minutes then squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Place in a bowl with the lentil mixture, spices, breadcrumbs, and egg. Stir to combine. Shape into thin, 3” wide patties and fry over medium heat in a thin layer of oil. Repeat with all the mixture.
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.