Photo courtesy of Nuba.

Mexican Meets Lebanese Cuisine in This Perfect Picnic Salad

For chef Ernesto Kut Gomez, co-owner of Nuba restaurants and Chancho Tortilleria, focusing on eating well has been one positive aspect of the isolation demanded by the COVID-19 crisis.

I have made this dish many times because of its nutritional value, incredible flavour, and because it keeps well,” he explains. “However, now that we are starting to venture out more, this is a perfect dish for summer picnics, hikes, or days at the beach.

“It is inspired by the Lebanese lentil and rice dish, mjadra, as well as my childhood memories of growing up in Mexico,” he says. “Mexican cuisine uses many different combinations of legumes and rice, and for this recipe I have decided to add fresh summer ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.

“Please use organic and traceable legumes and grains, and vegetables and herbs from your local farmers’ market. It makes a huge difference in both the health value of the dish and its flavour. Enjoy!”

Photo courtesy of Nuba.

French Lentil, Forbidden Black Rice, Avocado, and Herb Salad

Serves 4-6


1 cup cooked lentils (recipe below)

¾ cup cooked black rice (recipe below)

2 small carrots, diced

1 shallot, diced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno

1 tomato, diced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ small bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped (remove stems)

1/3 bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped (remove stems)

½ small bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped (remove stems)

1 avocado

For the lentils:

1 cup French lentils (or any lentils, green, brown, or small black)

½ small onion

2 garlic cloves (skin on)

1 bay leaf

For the black rice:

3/4 cup forbidden black rice (can be substituted with wild rice or any whole grain rice)

1 ½ cups water


A dash of olive oil

Note 1: Any combination of the herbs can be used according to preference or supply.

Note 2: For non-vegans, a soft-boiled egg, crispy bacon, or prosciutto can be added.


Rice lentil salad

Photo courtesy of Nuba.

For the lentils:

Rinse lentils with cold running water using a fine strainer.

Mix lentils in a small pot with 4 cups water, onion, garlic, and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 mins, depending on the variety of lentil used. For salad, lentils should be cooked but still firm.

Strain and let cool (the broth can be used as a base for a soup or another recipe; it is flavourful and packed with nutrients).

For the rice:

Rinse rice thoroughly under cold running water, add water, salt, and olive oil.

Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove rice from heat, but keep covered and let rest for 10 minutes.

Remove cover and allow to cool.

For the salad:

Mix all chopped vegetables with lentils and rice.

Mix Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and salt together until there are no clumps.

Mix lentil, rice, and vegetables mixture with vinegar mix, and add olive oil and herbs. Do not mash. Add more salt, vinegar, or olive oil to taste, if needed.

Cut avocado in half, remove pit, scoop out the inside, and slice lengthwise. One quarter of an avocado per person is required.

To plate: Scoop the salad onto the middle of a plate, add slices of avocado on top, drizzle with olive oil. Optional: Add some seasoned greens.

For more delicious Vancouver recipes, head to our Food and Drink section.


Post Date:

May 26, 2020