"With most salads, you pour the dressing on at the end and coat the dish from the outside in," says Rebecca Katz, whose Mediterranean Lentil Salad was served in the Bastyr Dining Commons for her Cancer-Fighting Kitchen workshop in September 2011. "But in this salad, the lentils cool off in the fridge in a bath of dressing — in this case olive oil, vinegar, lemon and cumin. They absorb all of this wonderful flavor, which is heightened by the addition of red bell pepper, kalamata olives, parsley and mint."
Rinse the lentils well and place in a saucepan with bay leaves, bruised garlic clove, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cinnamon stick. Cover with water or broth by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Toss the vinaigrette with the lentils, red bell pepper, cucumbers, olives, mint and parsley in a mixing bowl. Let sit 20 minutes. (If using feta, keep in a separate dish until ready to serve.)
Transfer to a large serving bowl or individual plates and serve at room temperature.
Note: LePuy lentils are resilient little things that hold their shape well throughout the cooking process, making them perfect for a salad.