Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad

lentil salad-4

Hey. Lentils. I love them.

I think we’ve talked about that.

But I really do love them because they’re a really pretty brown color (ahem, NOT). They are so versatile and healthy and cheap and texturally amazing. I’ll cut myself off before you start to feel like this just a repeat of all of my lentil posts that I’ve ever done.

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Guess what? My friend Angie was here in Cebu this last week! I am working on a picturey-post for all you guys who like to follow along with all our adventures and mishaps here in the Philippines. In a superbusy week, we made it in and out of the market alive, soaked up a wee bit too much sun at the beach, and of course, played/sweated our afternoons away at the shelter.

Even though I feel like I’m in and out of there all the time, it’s really fun to have an excuse to just BE there when we have family and friends visiting.

Ok fine, I’ll show you one picture.


I can’t tell you how much I love these moments, to just be. Never mind that the 3pm sun is beating down through the window, or that sweet girl’s head looking, um, giant. She’s leaning in close to the camera, okay?

Sigh. My heart overflows.

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Sometimes I feel like my eating life is… hot and cold. And by hot and cold, I mean healthy and unhealthy. Sometimes my friend comes to Cebu for the week and I eat, oh, I dunno, pizza by the pool. x200. Love.

Lentil salads are good for that, so I made this for a kind of RESET button on my eating life after a week of vacation eating. It was a total on-a-whim salad that just kinda used everything I had on hand. And yummmmmm! It was so good! So lemony and fresh and colorful. The lentils and bulgur (a small wheat grain) soak up all the flavor of the sauteed tomato and garlic. Plus that citrus dressing and the fresh parsley? Yes, yes, yes. I felt better about myself after just one big ol’ bite.

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I am also avoiding foods that involve hotness or warmness at all costs, and this salad fits the bill because you can eat it hot, right after you cook it, orrrrr you can eat it cold! COLD COLD COLD COLD COLD! That was me chanting “cold”.

Cold foods are making me so happy right now. I know you guys think you want to be in this tropical heat, because it’s really fun and beachy? right? People say that to me all the time. And it is fun and beachy during … the other months. But we’re in the summer and I’m hardly ever at the beach. So I’m just gonna tell you – you don’t want to be in this heat. Not without this salad (cold version) or that gorgeous, life-saving invention we call air con.

Seriously, Filipinos call it air con.

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And that’s where I’m headed now: to the air con with a big bowl of this freshy salad to refuel my life. Mmmm.

4.8 from 6 reviews
Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup dry green (brown) lentils
  • ½ cup dry light bulgur (light just refers to the coarseness of the grain)
  • 3-4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup parsley, very finely chopped
  • ¼ cup citrus/vinaigrette dressing (I used a lemon tarragon dressing)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  1. Cook the lentils and the bulgur according to directions, using vegetable broth instead of water. When cooked, combine and set aside.
  2. Saute the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the lentils, bulgur, and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.
  3. Season with dressing, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Serve hot or cold.
The lemon dressing just happened to be something I had on hand so I tossed it in there to keep things flavorful. Any kind of oil or vinegar based sauce or dressing that you have on hand could work for this one!

Just so-ya-know, I have some fun and different posts coming up this week including a giveaway! Woop.

And just so-ya-know again, this photography website just published a review of my ebook, Tasty Food Photography! In case you’re into that kinda thing.

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  1. It’s already getting hot here in Oman, too. Ugh!

    Thanks for the (amazing looking) cold salad option!

  2. This sounds so tasty!! We’re still a little on the cold side in Michigan, but I think this is going to be a staple once June, July, August start melting my face off.

  3. I love the colors of this salad! The green parsley totally pops and gives this salad a spring feel :)

  4. Nice redesign! Responsive! Great job.

  5. I’m a sucker for anything with lentils and this salad looks delish! I haven’t experimented much with bulgur yet. Maybe I’ll have to pick some up at the grocery next time so I can whip up this salad! :-)

  6. Hey! Your site changed! I love it! And I love the picture of you and Bjork, so adorable :)

  7. That’s too cute that Filipinos call it air con. I learned something new today! I’m sure you’ll be missing the heat after you return to the winters in the Midwest.

    I am also madly in love with lentils and this dish sounds awesome!

  8. julie {With Style and Taste} says:

    Wow guys… the new look! The picture of you 2 is, shall I say , CUTE :)

  9. just because lentils can be enjoyed both hot and cold- i love it :) bulgur probably adds some texture- delicious

  10. Love the new design – so sleek and clean! And these lentils look like the perfect thing to reset my taste buds after a weekend of Easter candy and birthday cake!

  11. Haha…I think the rest of SE Asia calls it air con too. After being here for 1.5 years I first didn’t catch that it isn’t what I am supposed to call it 😉

    And YES to the lentil love!

  12. my love affair with lentils is going on pretty strong at the moment. this looks amazing!

  13. Love lentils, love Pinch of Yum, love the redesign! ♥

  14. This looks so fresh and delicious!!! Love a good cold salad too! :)

    The redesign looks beautiful! Love how simple and clean everything is!

  15. I’m in love with lentils, too!! I could eat lentils like… every single day! Only if I actually felt like cooking every single day but since I don’t feel like cooking like any day lately, I just simply don’t eat lentils. 😀 But you made this recipe sound oh so good that I might just make it and see for myself! :)

  16. Love how simple and fresh you design is…..and this salad looks so fresh and beautiful as well! YUM!!

  17. LOVE the new site! And this salad looks lovely!

  18. I’m with Eric: the redesign looks great; I’m especially loving on the new logo font! Lentil salad looks great….can’t wait to put some fresh summer tomatoes in there. Hang in there with the heat and just remember, EVERYONE has back sweat. :)

  19. This salad is beautiful, and the colors are so vibrant.

  20. Okay, I’ll confess… I’ve NEVER eaten Lentils before! You’re photo looks so good, though. I may just have to give them a try.

    Love the site design!

    • Karen! You MUST try them. They’re so cheap and easy and healthy! No soaking required or anything like that – just a quick rinse and boil and they’re ready!

  21. I love lentils, like is really do eat them EVERY day! I am so excited about this recipe!

    I love the site redesign! It is so fresh and clean! You and Bjork Are so good at this stuff!

  22. This recipe looks so refreshing! I want to try adding chopped kale !!!!

  23. This looks amazing! Trying to get more stuff like this into my diet, so this is a must try. New website design = awesome.

  24. Mmm, I’ve never thought about saute-ing lentils before! I like how you can eat it cold as well as hot, that makes lunch packing so much easier!

  25. This looks and sounds fantastic!!

  26. This looks delicious and healthy, I’m going to try it this week!

  27. i just bought lentils at the store and was looking for fresh new way to make them and this is it! the colors…love the bright colors even with the brown lentils :-) also love the new blog look.

  28. Just found your blog and I am beyond excited to try so many of your recipes! Thank you! :)

  29. Because I didn’t have some of the ingredients the recipe call for, I substituted the following:

    * Quinoa for the bulgur
    * 1 can of chopped tomatoes with green chilies for the fresh tomatoes
    * Ciliantro for the parsley
    * Southwest salsa w/corn vinaigrette dressing for the citrus dressing

    And served over brown rice. OMG, it was off the hook!

  30. This is an amazing recipe – I substituted the large couscous for bulgur and it was super good.

  31. I made this a few weeks ago (saw it on Pinterest) and it was great! It is much better warm than cold, in my opinion, but works great as a dinner on its own. Leftovers were tasty for lunch too. Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Thanks for the recipe. It was delicious. I’ve made it twice in two days and I’m currently typing while munching on a bowl. It’s a very healthy post workout snack and we just got some olive oil fresh from the farm so I made a lemon, basil and olive oil dressing which made it even more delicious. I already have the recipe memorised. Thank you again.

  33. Michelle says:

    Do you think barley would be an ok substitute for the bulgur? I’ve looked for bulgur in the past at the grocery stores near me and I haven’t found it (even asked employees). I have barley in the cupboard right now and this looks so incredibly yummy! Just hit the hot weather in Michigan :)

  34. Delicious! Only changes I made were adding in some baby spinach at the end of cooking and flavoring with a mix of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

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