Mind-Blowing, Three-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Lentil Salad
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Writing click-bait titles is not something I plan on getting into, BUT: Friends, just this once, can you forgive me? I really am blown away by this salad. I first tasted it last Friday afternoon at an end-of-school-year party, and I have made it every other day since.
Are you ready for the recipe? Visit your local Trader Joe’s, and pick up: 1 tub of bruschetta sauce, 1 tub of crumbled feta, and 1 box of cooked lentils. Combine as you wish. Toss. Taste. Adjust to taste with more feta or bruschetta sauce or both.
The post should end here with a, “Bye! Have a nice summer!” but believe it or not, you may run into some roadblocks: The first problem you may encounter is not being able to find the cooked lentils. My Trader Joe’s has been out of the lentils for weeks, but I found a nice alternative at the Niskayuna Co-op: Melissa’s Produce steamed lentils. You, of course, could cook the lentils yourself, which is not difficult and which is more cost effective, but hey, should we try and live a little this summer? It’s hard, I know.
The second problem you may encounter is not being able to find the bruschetta sauce, though this is unlikely—most Trader Joe’s get daily deliveries, bruschetta sauce included.
The third problem you may encounter is that you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby. This problem is a little trickier to solve as it will require creativity on your part or a follow-up blog post on mine when the tomatoes finally arrive. Stay tuned.
Friends, as you know, I am the first to tell you to cook beans from scratch, to make bread, to make stock, to whisk up a vinaigrette, to make harissa, and shkug and anything else that just plain tastes better made at home. Cooking never feels like a chore for me, and I typically shy from “recipes” like this because often they taste somewhat artificial or too sweet or too salty, etc.
But this lentil salad is really, really good. One bite of it at the party had me pulling guests aside asking: Did you make the lentil salad? No? Do you know who did? When I learned it was Gail, whose husband manages the Albany Trader Joe’s, it all made sense.
A from-scratch bruschetta sauce and home-cooked lentils would not make this salad impossibly complicated, but the point here is that isn’t it nice to know, when you’re in a pinch (or not), you can pick up three products, throw them together, and call your dinner side dish or potluck contribution or lunch-for-the-week done?
Friends, have you made this salad? I made it on Instagram stories yesterday and was shocked to learn people have been making this one for years! Do you know it? Do you love it? Do you know any other Trader Joe’s hacks?
Here’s a play-by-play … drumroll please … let’s make the simplest recipe to date in Alexandra’s Kitchen history. Gather your ingredients: feta, cooked lentils, bruschetta sauce.
Open the containers …
and dump into a bowl (or measure: 1.5 cups cooked lentils, 1.5 cups bruschetta sauce, .5 cups feta).
My friend Gail, whose husband manages the Albany Trader Joe’s, brought this salad to a party last week, and it blew me away: most important, it was incredibly delicious; nearly important, it required very little effort: picking up three, ready-made products and combining them.
If you cannot find Trader Joe’s cooked lentils, look for the Melissa’s Produce cooked lentils in your local grocery store. Or boil them from scratch as instructed below.
This salad keeps very well in the fridge, and I like eating it cold straight from the fridge, but if you are serving it to company, you may want to bring it to room temperature before serving because the olive oil in the bruschetta sauce congeals a bit in the fridge.
For the Trader Joe’s version:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils, see notes
- 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
For the from-scratch version:
- 1/2 cup dried black lentils or French green lentils
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups bruschetta sauce
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta or more to taste
To make the Trader Joe’s version: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss. Taste. Adjust to taste with more feta or bruschetta sauce. Serve immediately or stash in the fridge.
To make the from-scratch version:
- Place the lentils in a small pot and cover with water by at least an inch. Add a teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a simmer. Simmer till done. Times will vary considerably. My black lentils have been cooking consistently in about 23-25 minutes. If you are using French Green lentils, they’ll likely need a little more time. Taste before draining them. Drain, then let cool completely.
- To make the salad, combine the lentils — you should have about 1.5 cups cooked — the bruschetta sauce, and the feta in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Taste. Adjust with salt to taste.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: lentils, trader joe’s, mind-blowing