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Citrus Lentil Salad
My family loves to have salads on the trail and this is one of our favorites. It appeared in Joy of Backpacking by Brian Beffort.
Dehydration Time: 5 to 7 hours
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
1 cup of canned green lentils, well drained and rinsed
1 small carrot, coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
1/8 cup fresh chives or scallions, chopped
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried sweet basil
Roast the red peppers according to the instructions below. Once they've cooled, peel them and chop them into ¼-inch pieces. Combine all the salad ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss. Spread out the salad mixture on lined dehydrator trays. If your unit has a temperature control, set it for 135°F. Dry the mixture for 5 to 7 hours.
Pour the olive oil and lemon juice into a leakproof container such as a small Nalgene bottle. Pack the cayenne, cumin, and basil in plastic wrap or a small ziplock bag. Put the salad, bottle of dressing, and spice packet inside a medium ziplock bag and seal, making sure to remove as much air as possible
Rehydrate the salad in the plastic bag using a formula of 1½ parts dried mix to 1 part water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes and then add a little more water if needed. If you accidentally use too much water, be sure to drain the salad well before adding the dressing.
While the salad is rehydrating, put the contents of the spice packet into the bottle containing the olive oil and lemon juice mixture. Shake vigorously. Pour the dressing on the rehydrated salad and stir gently to combine. Serve the salad with lightly toasted Greek pitas or stuff it into pitas.
If you plan to prepare this salad well ahead of your trip, wait to make the oil and lemon mixture until closer to your departure date. The dried ingredients will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Write the recipe name and date you made it on the outside of the freezer bag, using an indelible marker; be sure to write yourself a reminder on the bag about adding the dressing.
Roasted Red Peppers
To roast peppers place them on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool before peeling off the skin. You can also grill them until the skin starts to blacken and peel. You can buy roasted red peppers, packed in oil, at the supermarket. Just give them a little rinse first.