Drain any excess liquid from packaged (or cooked and cooled) lentils, then pat dry.
Add lentils to the bottom of a large bowl, then toss in the chopped produce. Drizzle dressing over the top and gently mix with a spatula until uniformly coated in dressing.
Storing Leftovers:It's best to consume this within 2 days. While it will last up to 3 or 4 from a food safety perspective, it's not as fresh and the taste and texture begin to fade.Expert Tips:This recipe is pretty fool proof! Here are the key things to keep in mind when making this lentil salad.
If you aren't using a packaged cooked lentil you've picked up at the market, make sure you thoroughly drain and cool your cooked lentils from scratch WELL before making this salad. Having leftover water from cooked lentils will create a very soggy (and unpleasant) texture to the salad.
When purchasing artichoke hearts, be sure to remove any of the tougher artichoke leaves before chopping them up to add to the salad.
Baby cucumbers are the BEST for this salad. The thicker conventional cucumbers and even English cucumbers don't work as well with the texture of the salad.
Grape and/or cherry tomatoes are wonderful in here. Be sure to halve or quarter them depending on their size.
DIY Italian Dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 1/1 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk together and voila, your dressing is ready to be tossed onto this beautiful fresh lentil and vegetable salad!