It's getting warmer here in Memphis, and if you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for a good cold summer salad to serve at parties or devour by the bowlful when you don't want a hot meal. Fear not, this Memphis doula has you covered! In my past life when I had a lot more time to cook than I do now, I was a total foodie. I love food from different cultures and have adventurous taste buds. I'm not one to follow recipes by the book unless I have to, and if anything requires precise measuring I get my husband to do it. My all-time favorite cuisine is Ethiopian food, and lucky for you, I tried my hand at azifa, a delicious cold lentil salad! It's so easy that even the recipe-averse like me can wing it and have it come out tasty. Bonus: it's gluten-free AND vegan!
Easy cold summer salad: How to make azifa, Doulas of Memphis style
If you're one of those "give me the exact amounts" kind of folks, please accept my most humble apologies! It's pretty hard to mess this one up, so I'm going to trust you ;). Here's what you'll need to make azifa:
Chilled cooked lentils Green pepper Tomatoes Red Onion (any onion will do, but red is the yummiest) Poblano or jalapeno pepper (optional) Lemon juice Olive Oil Mustard (I used dijon) Salt
Directions: Chop up green pepper, tomatoes, onion, and poblano/jalapeno. This time I used one large green pepper, one large tomato, half a red onion, and half a poblano. Mix into your chilled cooked lentils. How lentil-heavy you want this to be is up to you, but don't skimp on the tomatoes or green pepper! Next, add lemon juice, and don't be shy! I used a fairly large mixing bowl and squeezed about 1.5 lemon's worth in. Pour in a little olive oil to keep things moist (is a couple of glugs a measurment?!). You can always add a bit more later if you find it's too dry. Salt to taste, then add mustard. The one thing you do have to be careful about is overdoing it on the mustard. Add about a tablespoon to start, mix it in, and taste from there. You don't want an overpowering mustard flavor, just enough to balance out the lemon juice.
If you have a local middle eastern market or an Ethiopian restaurant nearby, this salad is out of this world when served with injera, aka Ethiopian sour flatbread. If you don't have access to injera, it's delicious on its own!
Try it and let me know how it goes in the comments! Enjoy!